Sun, Feb 04, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chen Chu wants Kaohsiung ballot recount halted

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday said she hoped the Kaohsiung District Court would reconsider its ruling to allow a recount of last month's mayoral election ballots.

Chen said that the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office's decision not to indict her on Friday was proof she did not fake a vote-buying video in a bid to harm the chances of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英).

Huang's camp filed a lawsuit alleging Chen and her staffers had faked a video scene, in which two men -- Ku Hsin-ming (古鋅酩) and Tsai Neng-hsiang (蔡能祥) -- handed out money to voters on a tour bus and asked them to vote for Huang and KMT Kaohsiung City Councilor candidate Huang Po-lin (黃柏霖).

The video was shown to the press on the eve of the election and Huang Chun-ying's camp alleged that Chen's actions had influenced the election result.

"The truth is very clear now and those who bought votes should be condemned," Chen said.

"If [the court] still wants to hold a recount, then I have no idea what justice is," the mayor added.

On Friday, the Kaohsiung Pros-ecutors' Office ruled that Chen's camp did not fake the scene to set up Huang in a bid to influence the election result.

Ku and Tsai were indicted on violation of the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法).

The prosecutors also confirmed that Huang Chun-ying and Huang Po-lin were unaware of Ku and Tsai's vote-buying activities.

The Kaohsiung District Court, however, ruled on Thursday that a recount of the ballots would be held on March 12 because of the slim margin between the number of votes Chen and Huang Chun-ying received.

"There is one way to salvage [justice]: stop the recount," Chen said.

"I'm not afraid of counting the votes again, but there will be endless [disputes] if every candidate that loses an election asks for a recoun," Chen said.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday rebutted the Kaohsiung City Government's request that the KMT apologize for the scandal, arguing that it was the DPP that should offer an apology for accusing the KMT candidate of buying votes.

"Now that Huang Chun-ying has been proven innocent, it's the DPP that should offer the apol-ogy," Ma said yesterday while meeting with KMT members in Kaohsiung.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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