Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) stepped in yesterday to put an end to an increasingly damaging public battle between the candidates for the Greater Kaohsiung election.
In a rare public appearance together, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) took part in a press conference with Tsai yesterday afternoon, denying they were involved in a series of personal attacks during the past week.
The two candidates have been involved in a bitter row after newspaper advertisements appeared attacking Chen along with officials at the Kaohsiung City government and Chen’s supporters at the Kaohsiung City Council with sexual innuendo.
In response, Kaohsiung City councilor Chen Chiao-ju (李喬如) — one of the female councilors listed in the attack — accused Yang of being behind the offensive advertisements and accusing him of sexual discrimination.
However, in a joint statement yesterday, Chen and Yang said “the attacks could be part of a concentrated effort by people outside the party to damage the DPP’s interests and candidates in Greater Kaohsiung.”
“It’s impossible that Yang would harm the party and his own image like this by taking out such ads and it’s also impossible that Chen would attack herself … the person behind the ads is definitely not a person working in the DPP’s interest,” Tsai said.
A DPP source not authorized to speak on the matter alleged that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) might be behind he attacks.
Tsai said the DPP would be pushing forward its nomination schedule in the Greater Kaohsiung race.