Thu, Nov 18, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blues suspicious of DPP funds

ELECTION The KMT and PFP demanded that the DPP reveal where its campaign funding is coming from, implying that it was putting political pressure on companies

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should make public the sources of its campaign funding for the legislative elections, the pan-blue alliance demanded yesterday, voicing suspicions that the DPP administration has been improperly using the political clout of major party-affiliated government officials to put pressure on businesses.

The legislative caucuses of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) yesterday said the huge amounts of money the DPP has been able to raise and spend on its legislative campaign this year was suspicious.

The two opposition parties' legislative caucuses yesterday held press conferences in response to media reports that the DPP has raised its fundraising goal by NT$30 million to NT$90 million.

The DPP's fundraising goals have been a source of contention for the pan-blue camp since the figures were made public last month. According to these goals, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) is expected to raise NT$3 million for the party's legislative efforts, Premier Yu Shyi-kun NT$2.5 million, ministerial-level government officials NT$1 million each, deputy ministers NT$500,000 each and chairmen of state-run companies NT$1 million each.

In response to the DPP's fundraising expectations for party-affiliated heads of state-run companies, KMT legislative caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) said that the DPP has violated the spirit of the Political Donation Law (政治獻金法), which he said was meant to limit donations from big businesses to the government.

Huang said the reason why the DPP has been able to hold so many campaign events and rallies this year is because it has opened a "government-business intermediary company," estimating that the DPP must have spent at least NT$700 million on rallies thus far.

KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) called on the DPP to make its donation list public.

"We are very envious of a party that claims to have no party assets, yet has the huge amount of money it takes to hold large-scale rallies like it's been doing," Chang said.

"If the DPP is using party members that are heads of state-run industries for donations, we wonder if the national treasury has become the party treasury. By having the nation's premier and vice premier collect donations, we wonder, have there been any `unwilling' donations? Also, among those donating, how many are there with impure motives?" Chang asked.

"We ask the DPP to publicize its donation sources. Otherwise, it means that the DPP is using its political power to expand those assets that will never see the light of day," Chang said, adding that he was not aware of any large contributions to the KMT's campaign fund.

"We have gotten a number of small donations, since the current position of the KMT is felt by the public. Luckily, there are many justice-loving citizens who are willing to give us the small amount of money it takes to run our ads," Chang said.

The KMT greatly scaled down campaigning this year due to its apparently risky financial situation.

Although the KMT could offer no proof of its suspicions yesterday, the PFP's legislative caucus urged businesses to come forward if they have been forced to donate money by the DPP.

PFP party whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) implied that the PFP had proof that the DPP had exerted political pressure on a marine shipping company to donate money for the March presidential election, adding that the PFP would help those who come forward to take legal action.

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