Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of reviving “black gold” politics with a proposed amendment that would help party legislators whose election victories have been annulled to keep their posts.
DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) told a press conference that KMT legislators had proposed an amendment to the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法) that stipulates that elected officials whose election victories have been annulled would only lose their posts after a third and final trial, with no time limit imposed on the duration of each trial.
Chai said the current law removes elected officials from their post after losing a second trial; each trial must also be completed within six months.
The Yunlin District Court on Friday annulled the election victory of KMT Legislator Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) in a first trial. Chang's rival, DPP legislative candidate Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國), filed a lawsuit in January, accusing Chang of bribery.
Chang said he would appeal the decision.
“The amendment is aimed at prolonging the trials and helping KMT legislators maintain their posts. With such a law, Chang would be able to finish his term because the final verdict would be delayed indefinitely,” Chai said.
Of the 60 KMT lawmakers elected to local constituencies, five have seen their victories annulled, and the KMT aims to keep them in their posts by amending the law, the DPP legislator said.
By assisting questionable legislators, Chai said the KMT was attempting to revive “black gold” politics, or political corruption.
KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) shrugged off the DPP's criticism, saying the bill had been proposed a while ago and that both the KMT and the DPP could deliberate over how to amend the law.
Lin accused the DPP of attempting to discredit the KMT, saying a single legislator's proposal did not reflect the stance of the entire caucus on amending the law.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG