Sat, Apr 04, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Legislator Yeh says DPP set her up

SMEAR CAMPAIGN? The DPP legislator said that the party asked her to visit Chen Shui-bian in jail and then vilified her for allegedly striking an agreement with him

By Rich Chang and Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Former first lady Wu Shu-jen is escorted by care providers as she visits former president Chen Shui-bian at the Taipei Detention Center yesterday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) yesterday accused the party of setting her up by asking her to visit former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and then turning around and accusing her of having a secret agreement with Chen.

Local media reported that DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) intended to choose Yeh as the party’s candidate for the year-end Tainan County commissioner race, but changed her mind because Yeh earlier this week visited Chen in the Taipei Detention Center and allegedly reached an agreement with him that in exchange for his support for her campaign, Yeh would support a bid by Chen to replace her in the legislature.

“I was set up by the party and the party sullied my reputation,” Yeh told reporters yesterday.

Yeh said she visited Chen because Tsai and DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅), whom the party announced on Wednesday as its candidate for Tainan County commissioner, asked her to do so.

“They wanted me to ask Chen to persuade former Presidential Office secretary-general Mark Chen (陳唐山) to withdraw from the race [for Tainan County commissioner],” Yeh said, adding that she had not struck any “exchange agreement” with Chen Shui-bian.

Both the DPP and Lee yesterday denied Yeh’s accusation.

DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said local media reports had caused the misunderstanding by citing anonymous DPP sources in their stories.

“Yeh has had good relations with the party and Tsai. It’s not possible that the party would want to set Yeh up,” said Cheng, adding that the party understood Yeh’s feelings and respected her remarks on the matter.

At a separate setting yesterday, Lee told reporters that he had encouraged Yeh to visit Chen Shui-bian in the hopes that she would ask him to resolve the deadlock over Mark Chen running in the election.

Following the DPP’s announcement of their nomination, Mark Chen said it was a result of factional influences and that he would run in the election without the party’s backing but would not withdraw from the party.

In related news, Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday that he would not seek re-election if Taipei County failed to be upgraded to the status of a special municipality before the merger of Taichung City and Taichung County.

Chou said he did not care about his recent low approval ratings and that seeking re-election was not a priority.

“I don’t care about the polls. All I care about is how to take care of Taipei County residents and how to solve the unemployment issue for them,” Chou said.

Chou vowed last October to quit politics if the merger of Taichung was completed before Taipei County is upgraded.

He vowed yesterday to keep his promise.

Of the nation’s 18 counties, only Taipei County, which has a population of 3.76 million, meets the requirement to be upgraded to a special municipality.

Special municipalities, like Taipei City and Kaohsiung City, are under the direct jurisdiction of the Executive Yuan and hold separate elections for their leaders.

Chou declined yesterday to comment on polls that said his approval ratings were lower than those of former Taipei County commissioner Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of the DPP, who has been reported by local media as the DPP’s likely candidate for the year-end county elections.

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