Fri, Dec 10, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Premier Yu praises anti vote-buying efforts, KMT differs

PROBES Yu Shyi-kun said prosecutors have been impartially handling investigations, but the KMT said they have been acting like DPP `hitmen'

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The crackdown on vote-buying has been effective, as the number of campaign-related banquets has fallen by 90 percent and there have been more than 10 vote-buying prosecutions, Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday.

"I'm very pleased with the crackdown efforts so far," Yu said. "With sound task designation and cooperation, prosecutors with pan-blue leanings are responsible for conducting the investigation of pan-green legislative candidates, while prosecutors with pan-green leanings are responsible for investigating pan-blue candidates."

Yu made the remarks while campaigning for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates in Tainan County.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福), however, accused the government of targeting KMT candidates.

"I'm calling on prosecutors and law enforcement officials to maintain their impartiality and refuse to serve as the DPP's political hitmen," Huang said.

"Although the government has claimed that its crackdown efforts don't have anything to do with a candidate's political affiliation, we have found many problems and heard many negative reports," he said.

Citing "reliable sources," hesaid that prosecutors and law-enforcement officials have targeted as many as 14 KMT candidates for a large-scale search ahead of the election.

The search areas include the counties of Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Chunghua, Yunlin, Tainan and Kaohsiung, he said.

Dismissing the accusations, DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said the DPP has never meddled in any vote-buying investigations or the government's efforts to eliminate vote-buying, although the Executive Yuan and Ministry of Justice can ask for the crackdown efforts to be stepped up.

"If the DPP had the ability to interfere in any such legal cases, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) wouldn't have been called to testify in front of the Hualien Prosecutor's Office for two hours and former DPP deputy secretary-general You Ying-lung (游盈隆) wouldn't have been indicted,'" Chang said.

Yu was indicted for violating the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選罷法) because of a statement he made during the Hualien County commissioner by-election last year.

The indictment was later dismissed by State Public Prosecutor-General Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭) and the Hualien Prosecutors' Office.

Chang admitted that some DPP candidates have come under suspicion of vote buying and have been summoned by prosecutors. But he noted that none have been linked to cash bribes.

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