Wed, Dec 13, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Vote-buying a DPP hoax: KMT chief

ALLEGATIONS After Ma's declaration that the bribery charge was a DPP fabrication, prosecutors announced that a suspect in the case had confessed

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Huang-liang yesterday holds copies of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) advertisements printed in major Chinese-language newspapers that read: ''So that's how it is.'' Tsai attacked the KMT for being unable to accept defeat and called on its Chairman Ma Ying-jeou to apologize to Kaohsiung residents over allegations of vote-buying.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

As the Kaohsiung mayoral election bribery disputes continued yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that the incident had been fabricated by the pan-green camp.

However, after prosecutors announced that a suspect in the case had confessed, the KMT backed away from its position.

Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Chu (陳菊) accused KMT candidate Huang Chun-ying's (黃俊英) camp of handing out envelopes of money to people on buses returning from a campaign rally late on the eve of the election.

A few hours after Chen Chu's campaign team made the allegation, Huang's spokesman Apollo Chen (陳學聖) filed a lawsuit with the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office, accusing Chen Chu of slander and violation of the election and recall law (選舉罷免法).

"We strongly suspect that the incident was instigated and directed by the DPP," Ma said yesterday after presiding at a municipal meeting at Taipei City Hall.

Urging the DPP to offer a public apology for making groundless accusations, Ma said Huang's campaign team did not rent the buses, and so his supporters couldn't have bought votes on the buses.

However, the KMT declined to comment after prosecutors announced a break in the case.

The party said it will wait until the prosecutors finished their investigations before taking any further actions.

"We respect the prosecutors' investigations and will wait for the investigation results with patience," KMT Spokesman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) said yesterday at the party headquarters.

While blaming the KMT's loss in Kaohsiung on the DPP's accusa-tions, Ma said he would shoulder the responsibility for the party's disappointing performance in the city, and would continue discussing the post-election consequences with party officials.

Ma later paid a visit to former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), who urged him to seek closer cooperation with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) in order to place more emphasis on Kaohsiung.

Although Lien expressed his disappointment with the Kaohsiung result, he joined Ma in attributing the defeat to the DPP's smear campaigns.

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