Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday pointed to a possible connection between the election-eve shooting on Nov. 26 of Sean Lien (連勝文) and the assassination attempt on her and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 2004, saying investigators should take a close look into both.
Lien, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Committee member and son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), was shot in the face while campaigning for a KMT councilor candidate in Taipei County.
Although police say they are still looking into the motives of the alleged gunman, who was arrested at the scene, Lu told a press conference that Sean Lien’s shooting and the “319 shootings” — the assasination attempt occurred on March 19, 2004 — should be investigated concurrently.
“Looking at both incidents together will help resolve some of the political partisanship between the two political camps,” she said. “Otherwise, it will only take another bullet [in a future election] to spark another political [incident].”
Lu was shot as she stood beside Chen in an open-top election convoy in Tainan City the day before the 2004 presidential election. One of the bullets hit Lu’s knee, while another grazed the former president’s stomach.
While police immediately said following the incident that they did not believe the shooting was political, there was speculation that the assassination attempt was staged to win the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sympathy votes in the tightly fought election.
Since not everybody accepted the results of an investigation into the shooting conducted when the DPP was in power, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration should consider reopening the case in light of the attempt on Sean Lien’s life, Lu said.
“Chen also agrees that a new investigation to find the truth should be held into the 319 shooting,” Lu said, adding that Chen had told her he didn’t want to “continue to live with the [controversy].”
Lu also said the 319 shooting was likely connected to a burgeoning underground gambling network for Taiwanese elections.
The former vice president said Chen told her last week that while he did not believe Sean Lien’s shooting had a major impact on the elections in Taipei and Sinbei cities, the attempt likely cost DPP candidate Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) the Greater Taichung mayorship, which he lost to Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) by about 2 percent of the vote.
“The biggest impact was in -Taichung and not in [the north]. Otherwise, Su would very likely have won that election,” she said.
“This is why the police have an obligation to make the truth about the shooting public as soon as possible,” she said.