Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT aides clash with supporters of Keelung Mayor Hsu


Several legislative aides from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) clashed with supporters of Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (許財利) yesterday at the Keelung Railway Station where they had been conducting a signature drive to recall Hsu, who has been convicted on corruption charges.

Police managed to separate the two groups with a human wall. They ordered the KMT aides to leave, claiming authority under the Assembly and Parade Law (集會法).

Under the Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法), a proposal aimed at recalling Hsu requires the endorsement of 5,847 voters from Keelung. This allows a motion to be put in local council.

After this, another 38,003 signatures are required for the Central Election Commission to conduct a referendum -- to be held within 30 days.

If half the number of eligible voters (292,330) in last year's Keelung mayoral elections -- or 146,165 -- vote to kick Hsu out, then the recall motion is carried.

When asked by press what the party headquarters plans on doing, KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Friday merely said, "the party's Keelung City chapter knows what it should do ... it will do what it should do."

The party apparently changed to a more active mood yesterday with a written statement issued by KMT spokesman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振), who said that it supported the aide's initiative.

The party urged the Keelung branch to cooperate with the aides to facilitate the launch of the recall motion, Huang added.

"The KMT supported the aide's signature drive and hoped that the members won't be discouraged by [yesterday's] setback," Huang said in a written statement.

In response to some party mem-bers' opposition to the recall motion, Huang urged them to respect different voices and not to take unreasonable actions against the signature campaign.

"Hsu's future should be decided by all Keelung residents, and so we will continue to support the recall motion. Once the motion is successfully proposed, we will allow party members to cast votes with an open attitude," Huang added.

Hsu was found guilty of influence peddling in a government land procurement case. The Keelung District Court on Sept. 19 sentenced him to seven years in prison and deprived him of his civil rights for eight years after ruling him guilty of corruption.

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