Fri, May 05, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Smear sparks spat between KMT mayoral hopefuls

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Defamatory material mailed to media outlets about former Taipei deputy mayor Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) sparked a row between rivals vying to become the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) candidate for the Taipei mayoral race at the legislature yesterday.

Yeh, who faced allegations of bribery for the KMT's primary a few days ago, yesterday said that smear campaigns were the most abominable type of election tactic, and called on the KMT to investigate the matter and prevent it from happening again.

Source?

The material in question, which Yeh showed to the press, had been put in an envelope that had the legislature's stamp on it. From this some speculated that its source was another participant in the race -- KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中).

"My reputation is much more important than being elected Taipei mayor. I don't want to guess its source, but it is absolutely not my own scheme," Yeh said.

Yeh said he had never made negative comments about rivals.

"Not to mention falsely incriminating other candidates," he said.

Ting strongly denied that the envelope had been mailed from his camp, and appealed to the KMT to clarify the matter and prove his innocence.

"Although I am the only legislator participating in the primary, there are many other legislators helping in Yeh's camp," Ting said.

He added: "It must have been done by someone on purpose. If it was from me, would I be that stupid to use an envelope with the stamp of the legislature? It is more than obvious that someone is playing a trick on me."

Ting said it was true that there were many rumors about bribery being used to influence the primary, which made the primary a very tough task for him.

"The party really should look into the rumors thoroughly," he said.

DPP hopefuls coy

In related news, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) camp wil confirm its candidate for the Taipei mayoral election today.

Today is the deadline for registration in the DPP's primaries for the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections, but the party's two hopefuls for the Taipei mayoral election, former DPP legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), have remained ambiguous on whether they will run.

After Hsieh had a closed-door meeting with DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun on Wednesday, he seemed to show more interest in the Taipei mayoral election.

However, Hsieh said he would only participate in the election if no one else signed up for the primary.

Because of this, some speculated that Yu had tried to dissuade Shen from registering so that Hsieh would be willing to run.

Shen denied the speculation and said Yu had not discussed the election with him.

Nevertheless, Shen was also unwilling to say whether he would register for the primary, adding only that people would know the answer today.

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