The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials of colluding with local factions to corrupt the elections of local council speakers.
Following the Nov. 27 elections, the councilors from the five special municipalities will elect speakers and deputy speakers when they assume their seats tomorrow. KMT and DPP councilors have been jockeying for the positions, traditionally held by ruling party politicians.
Citing information acquired by party officials and which has not been shown to media, DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said the party had irrefutable proof that the KMT was working with “black gold” elements to influence the votes. The term “black gold” refers to political corruption.
“If the KMT doesn’t [give us] a clear explanation, it will mean that ... as long as people have money and are willing to use violence, they can be society’s ringleaders,” Lin said.
Such behavior, the DPP said, is known to have occurred in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, three cities where the DPP for the first time has a chance of winning the upcoming elections for speaker.
The DPP is confident of taking at least two of those seats.
Although seats in the three municipalities are evenly divided between KMT and DPP local -councilors, local council speaker elections — a product of grassroots support — have not always fallen within party lines. Political parties have attempted to curb this practice in recent years.
KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) described the accusations as a smear campaign against the KMT and asked the DPP to provide the names of the KMT candidates for city council head who they believed were involved in “black gold.”
“We urge the public to examine the list of candidates from the two parties and make a comparison. The public is tired of such smear campaigns,” he said.
The KMT announced its candidates for city council heads in -Taipei City and New Taipei City (新北市) last week, but failed to finalize the list for Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung on Wednesday as originally scheduled.
The nomination committee is headed by KMT Vice Chairman and Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤).
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih