Sun, Nov 18, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chen Chu urges KMT to accept ruling

JUSTICE The KMT called on supporters to grant defeated candidate Huang Chun-ying delayed justice by helping the party win in the legislative and presidential polls

By Mo Yan-chih and Shin Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator Yen Chin-piao is joined by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou on stage as Yen launched his campaign headquarters in Shalu Township, Taichung, yesterday. Yen is appealing a conviction for graft that resulted in a lengthy jail sentence.


Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday dismissed accusations she pressured judges at the Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch, and urged the pan-blue camp to accept the final ruling confirming her election.

The high court on Friday overruled a district court ruling that annulled Chen's victory in last year's Kaohsiung mayoral election.

Expressing regret over the verdict, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英) and pan-blue politicians accused President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Chen Chu of intervening in the ruling.

"I don't have the power to pressure the judges and influence the ruling. The second trial gave me justice, and I hope that everyone will respect the result," the mayor said during a visit to Tainan yesterday.

Chen Chu condemned the KMT for hindering the development of Kaohsiung by refusing to accept the election outcome and filing lawsuits against her.

"The KMT needs to acknowledge its defeat and stop causing disturbances. It's unfair to ask Kaohsiung citizens to pay the price for the election result," she said.

Chen Chu defeated Huang in the Dec. 9 poll last year by a margin of just 1,114 votes, or 0.14 percent of the total vote.

Huang filed two lawsuits on Dec. 28 -- one challenging the election process, the other the result.

The Kaohsiung District Court ruled in June that Chen's camp had violated the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants because it used illegal means to hinder her rival's campaign. It annulled the poll results and called for a new election to be held.

The high court on Friday overruled the verdict in the first trial.

Huang said yesterday that he respected the ruling and would focus his efforts on campaigning for the KMT's legislative and presidential candidates.

KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday declined to respond to comments that the KMT might use the Kaohsiung defeat to arouse voter sympathy and rally support.

Ma said only that he would urge voters to end negative campaigning by supporting the KMT in the upcoming elections.

"I believe that voters will say no to the party and candidates that use negative tactics. Justice is in the people's mind," Ma said yesterday after campaigning for legislative candidates in Tainan.

KMT Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said that the party would appeal to swing voters, urging them to give Huang delayed justice by helping the party win in the legislative and presidential elections next year.

Su said the party would also hold a nationwide forum to warn supporters against being fooled or influenced by smear campaigns.

Meanwhile, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) dismissed allegations that he had known in advance that the high court would rule in favor of Chen Chu.

Ma was quoted by Chiang Ling-chun (江玲君), a KMT legislative candidate, as saying that he had expected the verdict as the president seemed confident that Chen Chu would win the lawsuit.

"I am not a fortune-teller, and the court is not owned by the DPP. How would I know the result in advance? I just expressed my opinion based on legal knowledge, experience and an appraisal of the first verdict," the president told reporters.

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) also came to the president's defense.

"It's immature for politicians to choose to respect the judiciary when they win and say they distrust it when they lose. They need to improve their understanding of democracy," Lu said.

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