The possibility of a high-profile challenge over last month’s special municipality polls has left some Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians infuriated, suggesting that the opposition party should just “accept the results.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) raised the issue on Wednesday, saying that she was unhappy with the progress made so far into an investigation into the election-eve shooting incident last month and could file a challenge to the election results as early as today.
A lawsuit aimed at annulling the results would seek to remove the elected mayors chosen on Nov. 27 who have since taken office. If passed, the Central Election Commission would be obligated to call a new election.
Several KMT politicians and lawmakers have since rallied against the proposal, calling it a political maneuver that would likely “end badly” for the opposition party, if it followed through on its remarks.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said the lawsuit lacked legitimacy, and the DPP would be wasting valuable judicial resources if it filed a lawsuit.
“I received almost 800,000 votes in the mayoral election, and the victory is Taipei residents’ approval of my municipal achievements,” he said. “The DPP should not challenge the election result just because it lost the election.”
At a separate setting yesterday, KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) said that “if the DPP goes ahead with the lawsuit, the situation will only get uglier and uglier for them.”
KMT lawmakers also claimed the lawsuit was potentially motivated by intra-party politics in the DPP, with KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) questioning Tsai’s motives, alleging she was planning to boost her own chances of receiving the DPP’s presidential nomination, expected to be decided over the next three months.
Instead, King said that both parties should first wait for the police investigative report before settling on any political actions. He also called the potential move by the DPP an attempt to manipulate the issue through the media.
“There is no way for us to ask the prosecutors to step up their release of [investigation findings], we must continue to place our trust in [them],” King said. “If the DPP is still unhappy when the report comes out, it will not be too late for them to raise the issue then.”
DPP officials said that if the party did decide to file the election challenges, it would do so simultaneously in Taipei City, New Taipei City (新北市, the proposed English name of the upgraded Taipei County), and Greater Taichung, the three municipalities where it lost to the KMT.
In response to King’s criticism, DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) yesterday said that the move was not because the DPP was a “sore loser,” but that the potential lawsuit was aimed at provoking government agencies into revealing “the truth” about the incident.
“As the government has not yet publicized their investigation findings, the DPP can only use the power of the law ... in order to encourage them to do so,” he said.
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih and Flora Wang