Thu, Jun 02, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP threatens to sue as candidate makes allegations

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lin Feng-hsi, a Democratic Progressive Party candidate for the post of Taichung County commissioner, leads protests outside the party's Taipei headquarters yesterday saying that computer problems had made the party primaries unfair.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials yesterday warned that the party would take legal action against members who make false accusations about the DPP's primary race.

The dispute over the DPP's primary to select a candidate for the position of Taichung County commissioner escalated as one of the candidates, former DPP legislator Lin Feng-hsi (林豐喜), yesterday morning led about 300 supporters in a seated protest in front of the DPP's headquarters.

The protesters backed Lin's claim that a telephone poll conducted in the second part of the primary race was unfair. They demanded that the party redo the survey.

Lin, who is competing with former DPP vice chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) to become the party's candidate for Taichung County commissioner, said on Tuesday that the DPP's telephone poll on support for Lin and Chiu was problematic, because of a computer monitor failure at one of the polling companies.

The DPP originally planned to announce its Taichung County candidate on Tuesday, and the telephone poll was done on Monday evening. According to the survey, Chiu came out on top and as such would have been selected as the candidate representing the DPP, but Lin said he suspects that one of the three survey companies falsified the results.

Lin's supporters, who came from Taichung County, wore red caps and yelled "the poll is unfair!" and "redo the survey!"

They lingered at the DPP's headquarters until about 4pm yesterday.

In reaction to Lin's gesture, DPP secretary-general Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said yesterday that he could not identify with a candidate who tries to boost his own campaign by leading his supporters in a protest at the DPP's headquarters, and who makes groundless accusations against the party.

"The breakdown of the monitor, which only lasted for 15 minutes, had nothing to do with the accusations of `manmade unfairness' Lin has made," Lee said.

He said that the monitor in question had been used to supervise the telephone survey, and was not connected to one of the machines used to conduct the actual survey.

"It makes no sense to connect such a simple malfunction with injustice," Lee said. "I cannot accept that Lin accused the DPP of manipulating the sampling of the telephone survey. [His claim] is absolutely untrue."

Lee said that the DPP has agreed to redo one of the three surveys because of the electronic malfunction.

However, Lin's request that the other two surveys should also be thrown out makes no sense, Lee said.

Wu Hsiang-jung (吳祥榮), chief of the DPP's public survey center, said that the party will take legal action against people who continue to make false accusations about the DPP's primary system.

"We can understand that candidates are highly concerned about their polls, but the DPP will take the necessary action to deal with libel," Wu said.

"We will not allow a specific person's irresponsible remarks to hurt the primary system which the DPP has used for decades, and which has won credibility," Lee said.

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