Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors yesterday accused the Taipei City Government of abusing municipal resources to campaign for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛) in tomorrow’s legislative by-election, and urged municipal officials to maintain neutrality.
About a dozen staff from the Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs visited a traditional market in Da-an District (大安) to hand out pamphlets urging residents to vote tomorrow. However, two people wearing the department’s vest were also spotted calling on residents to vote for Chiang.
“It’s a serious violation of administrative neutrality and we need to stop public servants from campaigning for a specific candidate in such an obvious way,” DPP Taipei City Councilor Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said yesterday in front of Taipei City Hall.
PHOTO: LIN SHU-HUI, TAIPEI TIMES
DPP Taipei City Councilor Huang Hsiang-chun (黃向群) also condemned Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) for taking time off this week to campaign for Chiang, urging him to focus on municipal affairs.
The councilors later led a group of supporters to visit department commissioner of the department Huang Lu Ching-ru (黃呂錦茹) in her office, urging her to take responsibility and step down.
Huang Lu explained that the two people were volunteers invited by the Da-an district office to hand out pamphlets, but promised to take action if any city government staff were found campaigning for candidates during office hours.
Hau later acknowledged the impropriety of volunteers and borough chiefs campaigning for a specific candidate at events held by the department.
“I urge our staff to maintain administrative neutrality and will have the civil affairs department remind volunteers not to campaign for candidates,” he said yesterday at Chiang’s campaign headquarters.
When asked to comment on his campaigning for Chiang, Hau insisted that he had taken leave to participate in campaign events and that he had not violated any regulations.
Candidates made final efforts to drum up support on the streets of Da-an yesterday.
Campaigning for Chiang yesterday morning, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) urged voters to help the party win the by-election and crush former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) dream of boosting the DPP’s momentum by winning the by-election and returning to politics someday.
DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), on the other hand, said support for the party’s candidate Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) had grown recently and urged supporters to vote for Chou and teach the KMT a lesson.
The by-election is being held to fill the seat left vacant by former KMT legislator Diane Lee (李慶安), who resigned when it was discovered she had dual citizenship.
Seven candidates are standing for the seat.
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