Sat, May 19, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers bicker over DPP primary

ACCUSATIONS FLY Legislators were at each other's throats yesterday over perceived negative campaigns, while others complained about the choices for legislator-at-large

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Charles Chiang yesterday files a defamation suit at the Taipei District Court against his rival, DPP Legislator Wei Ming-ku, who accused Chiang of running a negative advertisement aimed at Wei during the party primary.

PHOTO: CNA

A confrontation erupted among several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday as legislative candidates accused others of using negative campaigning strategies to harm their chances during the party's legislative primary campaign.

DPP Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) -- a former member of the party's disbanded New Tide faction -- yesterday demanded party headquarters refer DPP Legislator Charles Chiang (江昭儀), his constituency rival, to the party's Central Discipline Committee for punishment.

Wei accused Chiang of running an advertisement designed to mislead the public into believing Wei had dropped out of the primary.

Wei, joined by DPP caucus whip Wang Sing-nan (王幸男), showed the press copies of the advertisement in yesterday's Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper).

Facing a telephone poll on Monday, which accounts for 70 percent of each legislative hopeful's final "score," Wei said he had no reason to withdraw from the primary as he had only polled 88 fewer votes than Chiang in the first stage of the primary when party members voted on May 6. The vote accounts for 30 percent of the final score.

DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who lost the legislative nomination in Taipei City's first district to DPP Legislator Wang Shih-cheng (王世堅), said like Wei, she had also been victimized during the primary.

DPP Legislator Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌), also a former member of the New Tide faction, attempted to confront Chiang yesterday, who was about to hold a press conference to respond to Wei's allegations, in the DPP caucus press room.

Hong, however, got into a verbal confrontation with Wang Shih-cheng, who was defending Chiang.

The fracas carried on after DPP caucus whip Wang Tuoh (王拓) came to Wei's aid in the argument, continuing even after caucus assistants tried to calm the situation by turning off the lights.

Wei, accompanied by Wang Tuoh, then tried to plead his case at party headquarters, but they were denied a meeting with the party's deputy secretary-general.

Speaking in his defense, Chiang said it was his supporters who placed the advertisement, adding that he did not know of the ad's content in advance.

Chiang then proceeded to the Taipei District Court to file defamation charges against Wei and Hsiao. After he arrived, he knelt down to beg former New Tide faction members not to "bully" him.

In related news, several DPP legislators yesterday voiced their dissatisfaction with the party's legislator-at-large name list, which was announced on Thursday.

The first four male nominees on the DPP's line-up were DPP Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), former minister of the Department of Health Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), Legislator Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) and Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬).

Council of Hakka Affairs Vice Minister Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌), former Changhua County commissioner Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) and Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) make up the first four places in the female line-up. Wong, however, is likely to give up her place as she was picked to be the new chairwoman of the Council for Cultural Affairs by premier-designate Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) on Thursday night.

Wang Tuoh yesterday said the list "did not live up to the public's expectations."

Wang said the party should not expect the list to become an advantage for the DPP, adding that "the list is not ideal enough" and it may have a negative impact on the party's electoral outlook in next year's presidential election.

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