Fri, Feb 13, 2009 - Page 3 News List

New Party’s Yao joins by-election

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The New Party yesterday said its former legislator, Yao Li-ming (姚立明), would run in next month’s legislative by-election in Taipei City’s sixth constituency, sparking concerns of a pan-blue split at the polls.

Despite having the party’s backing, New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) said Yao would run as an independent candidate.

The by-election follows the resignation of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) last month over a dual-citizenship controversy.

Yu lashed out at the KMT for avoiding responsibility for the scandal involving Lee and for accusing the New Party of damaging pan-blue unity.

“The by-election is being held because of the KMT and the KMT should shoulder the political responsibility ... The by-election is the best chance for pan-blue supporters to teach the KMT a lesson,” Yok said at the New Party headquarters.

Yao joined Yok in condemning the KMT for its poor handling of the scandal and urged voters to boycott the KMT’s candidate for the constituency.

In response, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said at a separate setting yesterday that the KMT cherished its friendship with the New Party and would negotiate for the sake of pan-blue unity.

“I hope the two parties can work together rather than hurting each other in the competition,” he said.

The KMT’s candidate, long-time Taipei City Councilor Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛), and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) counterpart, Taipei City Councilor Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) registered for the poll yesterday with the city’s Election Commission.

Chiang, accompanied by party councilors and dozens of borough chiefs from Da-an (大安) and Wenshan (文山) election districts, played down the citizenship scandal and said he had shown his long-term dedication to serving the city.

If elected, Chiang said he would communicate the concerns of his constituency to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.

Chou, meanwhile, denounced Lee and said giving the DPP another legislative seat would help it monitor the government.

Chou said Ma, the KMT and Chiang should not ignore the scandal involving Lee and should help to recover the salary Lee earned between 1991 and 2005.

The by-election is scheduled for March 28.

The Central Election Commission revoked Lee’s election victories as a legislator and a Taipei City councilor on Saturday.

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