Thu, Aug 03, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT cracks down on election graft

REFORM EFFORT The party wants members to report any cases of bribery by candidates campaigning for the Central Standing Committee election held last week

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, second right, issues membership certification to KMT Central Standing Committee members at KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNAN

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it would cancel the memberships of Central Standing Committee personnel who are found to have offered bribes either before or after last week's committee election.

The decision, made at the KMT's Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday, came amid allegations that some successful candidates had held parties to entertain delegates after the election, in which 31 standing committee members were chosen from 106 candidates. The committee is the party's decision-making body.

According to a report in the Chinese-language newspaper the China Times, one successful candidate promised to pay for trips to China for those who voted for him, while another threw a dinner party in Kaohsiung for delegates and promised more gifts later to thank them for their support.

KMT Legislator and committee member Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨) yesterday admitted attending the dinner party, but said it had simply been a meeting with local party delegates.

"I didn't see anyone offering gifts during the party," he said yesterday at KMT headquarters.

But KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴世葆), who was elected as a committee member, lashed out at the election "bribery culture" and urged the party to fight it.

"Some candidates threw parties well ahead of the election," he said yesterday during the meeting.

Juan Kang-meng (阮剛猛), head of the party's Evaluation and Discipline Committee, said he was determined to wipe out corruption.

"I am 100 percent determined to combat bribery. Any committee member who is found to have offered bribes before or after the election doesn't need to come to the meeting tomorrow," he said.

He urged party members to report any bribery.

"As long as you are brave enough to report the case, I will handle it ... We need to carry out the KMT's reform," he said.

Urging party members to take the bribery issue seriously, KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said he expected that the party's reform efforts would force the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to do the same.

"Then it will be a virtuous circle as we try to beat each other in a positive way," he said.

Meanwhile, the committee also passed a draft banning members from campaigning for candidates of other parties in the year-end Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral and city councilor elections.

The rules state that party chairmen, vice chairs and mayoral candidates may campaign for candidates of pan-blue allies if necessary.

Given that no KMT member would campaign for pan-green camp parties, People First Party (PFP) Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said the rules were clearly aimed at PFP candidates, including party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), who is likely to contest the Taipei mayoral election.

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