Fri, May 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Hau Long-bin rejects `political chameleon' tag

TAIPEI RACE The KMT mayoral hopeful broke his silence yesterday to defend himself in the wake of criticism from current and former rivals

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral hopeful Hau Long-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday denied being a "political chameleon."

Hau, a former Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) chief, has vowed to raise the integrity of the KMT's primary and had previously declined to comment on any accusations from rivals.

However, facing criticism from former opponent Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) and KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) who have questioned his political loyalties and motives for joining the race, Hau broke his silence yesterday to rebuff the accusations.

He said the criticisms were made to protect the interest of a political party rather than the country's interests.

He defended his previous departure from the KMT, saying it was made in response to former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) involvement in "black gold" politics.

"Since entering politics my sole principle has been that the national interest should always be higher than that of political parties ... I left the KMT for the New Party because former KMT chairman Lee Teng-hui was involved in black gold politics and had messed up the national identity," he said on his political blog titled "Reading Hau Long-bin."

"I am not a political chameleon, Lee Teng-hui is," he said.

Hau said he had accepted the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government's invitation to join the Cabinet as EPA head in order to solve environmental problems in the interest of all people.

He also denied allegations he had campaigned for Council of Labor Affairs Chairman Lee Ying-yuan (李應元).

"I never campaigned for any DPP members, including Lee Ying-yuan ... I did write a preface for his autobiography, but I never agreed to let him use it as a campaign tool," Hau said.

Ting, who had been given a written reprimand from the KMT for print ads attacking Hau, yesterday promised to focus on municipal issues in future campaign ads, but refused to refrain from criticizing his rival.

"Someone sees the KMT as a public restroom he can enter and leave as he wishes. He ignored party morals and party rules, and the KMT should take this issue seriously," Ting said while attending a veterans' gathering at the KMT's headquarters.

Ting continued his criticism Hau at a press conference at the legislature yesterday afternoon.

"He said he left the KMT due to Lee Teng-hui's black gold involvement, but how could he fail to see the same problem in the DPP?" Ting said.

"He has deeply hurt both the KMT and Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). It's hard to vote for him," Ting said.

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