Thu, Nov 15, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Kaohsiung mayor: lawsuit is harmful

UNCERTAIN The Chinese Nationalist Party said it would renominate Huang Chun-ying as its candidate if the court annuls Chen's victory, a decision that cannot be appealed

By Flora Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said yesterday that residents of the city are suffering from the uncertainty of a lawsuit that could see an annulment of her victory in last December's Kaohsiung mayoral election.

Chen said she was looking forward to the final verdict of the lawsuit because the uncertainty surrounding the case had hurt Kaohsiung's municipal construction projects and the rights of the city's residents.

"The lives of residents will not return to normal until the final verdict of the lawsuit is pronounced," she said during a question-and-answer session in Kaohsiung City Council yesterday morning.

Chen was fielding questions from People First Party City Councilor Yang Se-yu (楊色玉) about the city government's plan to maintain order in response to the Taiwan High Court's announcement of the final decision tomorrow regarding her appeal against a ruling to annul last December's result.

Chen yesterday urged people who support or oppose her to stay calm about the verdict and not to gather together around the court to protest.

Chen guaranteed that she would fulfill her promises to Kaohsiung residents if she wins the lawsuit and that she would accept defeat if she loses.

The Kaohsiung District Court on June 15 ruled in favor of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英), who had accused Chen of violating campaign regulations and asked that her victory be annulled.

The district court annulled the result of the December election, requiring that another election be held.

Chen then filed an appeal with Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch. The high court is scheduled to hand down the final verdict at 4pm tomorrow.

The verdict in the second trial is not subject to appeal, and Chen cannot join any by-election if she loses.

Meanwhile, Kaohsiung City Police Bureau will control traffic around the high court.

The police bureau started to lay barricades around the court yesterday to protect it for possible riots as a result of the verdict tomorrow.

"We will deploy about 800 police officers to maintain public security tomorrow," said Hsu Tung-li (許董利), a captain of Kaohsiung's Kushan (鼓山) patrol team, adding that the police bureau will have about 480 other officers as reinforcement.

Meanwhile, the KMT said yesterday it would renominate Huang as its candidate if the court annuls Chen's victory.

The Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch is expected to announce its verdict around 4pm tomorrow.

KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) yesterday accused the DPP of adopting "illegitimate" measures to win the election, and said the party will back Huang again as its candidate if the decision goes the in KMT's favor.

"Huang should've won the election if it wasn't for the DPP's illegitimate tactics. We believe that what should belong to Huang would be returned to him in the end," Wu said yesterday at the KMT headquarters.

Wu said the party will respect the Central Election Committee's decision on the date of the by-election if the verdict was in favor of Huang again.

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