Fri, Dec 08, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Elections 2006: Chiou rebuts campaign involvement allegations

NO HELPING HAND The National Security Council secretary-general is included in a council ban on any involvement in election campaigns enacted this year

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) yesterday said that he would step down if anybody could prove that he was involved in the mapping out of a campaign strategy for his political party in tomorrow's elections.

Chiou said he talked about tomorrow's elections with some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members but didn't provide any suggestions or campaign for any of the party's candidates.

"I am not involved in any of those things any more," he said. "Even if I were, it wouldn't have done any good because I'm just a party member."

Chiou, a DPP member, made the remarks in response to an inquiry filed by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) during the question-and-answer session of the Organic Laws and Statutes Committee meeting yesterday.

All National Security Council members are banned from campaigning for any election candidate and offenders have to leave their posts.

The legislature passed the ban last January, following an outcry from opposition parties over Chiou's involvement in forming a campaign strategy for the DPP in last year's "three-in-one" local elections.

The legislature also slashed the council's budget by NT$8 million (US$250,000) and froze two thirds of its remaining budget.

The Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday agreed to unfreeze the budget.

Chiou also rebutted Lai's allegation that his council was involved in publicizing the secret meeting between KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), who is running for the capital's top job.

Lai claimed the National Security Council must have discovered the event by tapping Ma's cell phone and then have provided the information to DPP's candidate for Taipei mayor, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).

Chiou, however, said his council did not have a phone monitoring system.

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