Wed, Nov 25, 2009 - Page 3 News List

KMT investigates alleged crossover campaigning

QUITTERS NEVER WIN? After the KMT’s Hualien County commissioner endorsed a candidate who had quit the party, the local branch is looking into the matter

By Mo Yan-chih, Shih Hsiu-chuan and Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said a local branch was looking into Hualien County Commissioner Hsieh Shen-shan’s (謝深山) public endorsement of independent candidate Chang Chi-ming (張志明), who left the KMT to run against the party’s candidate in the election.

Hsieh attended a campaign event held by Chang, Hualien County deputy commissioner, on Monday, sparking concern about his violating party regulations to campaign for non-party members.

KMT Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) said yesterday that the party had asked its Hualien branch to look into the matter, declining to confirm whether or not the KMT would punish Hsieh.

“We will handle the issue according to the report presented by the local branch,” he said.

Asked whether the KMT was refraining from punishing Hsieh, a long-term party member and an influential politician in Hualien, Chan said the party adopted tough regulations against any members who campaigned for candidates from other parties.

Juan Kang-meng (阮剛猛), director of the KMT’s Party Disciplinary Committee, said the party had revoked the membership of Hsinchu County Commissioner Cheng Yung-chin (鄭永金) for campaigning for independent candidate Chang Bi-chin (張碧琴) and that the party would adopt the same standard with Hsieh’s case.

In related news, in his capacity as KMT chairman, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday led party officials to pay their respects to Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) to celebrate the 115th anniversary of the party’s precursor, the Revive China Society.

Ma later visited Hsinchu County again to campaign for party candidate Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) last night.

The situation in Hsinchu remains tense as the KMT faces a split in the county. Cheng has been endorsing Chang Bi-chin, whose party membership was revoked for insisting on running in the election.

Meanwhile, Liu Ti-hao (劉櫂豪), the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate for Taitung commissioner, yesterday drew a parallel between his rival, Justin Huang (黃健庭), and Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), who is running for commissioner in Hualien County as an independent candidate after being ousted from the KMT.

Fu, the frontrunner in the Hualien race, was barred by the KMT from taking part in the party primary after being found guilty in his first and second trials in two separate legal cases.

The KMT has been trying to divert potential votes from Fu to its candidate Tu Li-hua (杜麗華) by saying that Fu might not be able to assume office even if he wins the election as his third trial is expected to end soon. If found guilty, he would have to serve time in jail.

Liu said that the KMT should have disciplined Huang, who was also indicted for corruption.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), however, disagreed.

“There is no comparison between the case of Fu and Huang,” he said. “As Huang was indicted and not found guilty, we can assume that he is not guilty.”

In related news, the DPP yesterday said a private investigator it hired to look into allegations of vote-buying in Yilan County was forced to divulge information he had gathered to the KMT camp.

Speaking at a press conference, DPP spokesman Chuang Shuo-han (莊碩漢) said the party would sue the KMT for violating personal liberties and coercion by demanding the detective disclose the information.

Chuang said the party hired private investigators to help with its anti-vote buying effort and that recently one of the hired detectives was pressured into going to the campaign headquarters of KMT candidate Chen Han-chung (陳漢鐘) to relinquish his equipment and all the information he had gathered. Chuang called on the KMT to “play by the rules.”

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