The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday confirmed that party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
The party, however, denied that Ma and the campaign initiator and former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Shih Ming-teh (
"No plots were hatched during the meeting between Chairman Ma and Shih. Chairman Ma did not make any promises to anyone, either," KMT spokesman Huang Yu-chen (
Huang made the remark in response to a story in the Chinese-language Liberty Times yesterday, which claimed that Ma, who had previously said that he would not join or interfere with the campaign, met with Shih last Thursday and told the former DPP chairman that he had found a solution that would allow him to stage a sit-in protest 24 hours a day from Aug. 23 to Sept. 7.
The Taipei City Government's Bureau of Public Works' new construction department and Taipei City Police Department on Thursday granted Shih's camp permission to stage an around-the-clock sit-in protest in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard.
While declining to confirm his secret meeting with Shih, Ma yesterday insisted that he had never made any promises.
Meanwhile, a group of DPP lawmakers yesterday said Shih's anti-Chen campaign was driven by the KMT, and linked with fugitive tycoon Chen Yu-hao (
"I know that Shih met with Chen Yu-hao on July 26 in Thailand. They conspired to bring [President] Chen down," DPP Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (
Chen Yu-hao, former chairman of the Tuntex Group who had escaped to the US, is listed as one of Taiwan's 10 most wanted fugitives.
Chen Yu-hao has accused the president of accepting millions of dollars in illegal political donations during the campaign for the 2004 presidential election.
"As Chen [Yu-hao] now holds a Chinese passport and has a close relationship with China, we suspect China might be involved in Shih's anti-Chen campaign," Lin said.
In response, Shih's campaign spokeswoman Ho De-fen (
"Chen Yu-hao had made a political contribution to the DPP when Shih was chairman. It was just a meeting .... no big deal. Shih went to Thailand to gain a better understanding of mass movements, not to meet up with Chen Yu-hao," Ho said.
Ho also held a press conference, announcing that as of yesterday, its had raised almost NT$81 million (US$2.48 million) in funds. Former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) also led a group of former DPP members to show their support for Shih's campaign at the conference.
In a separate press conference held by Shih's camp yesterday, former lawmaker Wang Lie-ping (王麗萍) said: "We have received reliable reports that the pan-green camp is planning to assassinate"Shih.
In response, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (
"They fabricated the news because it will be easier for [Shih's] camp to reach its goal of [raising NT$100 million (US$3.06 million) from 1 million people] come true," Gao said.