Thu, Jun 23, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Ma’s spokesman defends himself after debate row

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign office spokesman yesterday defended his participation in a debate about the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), in which he was on the team against the economic pact, urging the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and several media outlets not to manipulate the issue.

Ma’s campaign office spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said he debated the negatives of the ECFA in a debating contest held at National Taiwan University by the pro-independence Northern Taiwan Society last year and that it was regrettable that the DPP and two TV stations — FTV and SET — portrayed his personal stance as anti-ECFA.

“The topic of the debate was determined by the organizer and participants drew straws to decide whether they were on the affirmative or negative team. It is common sense that debaters’ arguments during the debate do not reflect their personal stance,” he said.

On Monday, both FTV and SET carried reports on Yin’s participation in the debate which called into question his stance on the government signing the ECFA with China.

The stories sparked a protest from about 800 debaters, who launched an online protest on Facebook accusing the two TV stations of manipulating the competitive debate as a political tool and asked the two TV stations to offer an apology over the reports.

SET said the source of the report was members of the DPP’s Youth Department and that the report also included a response from Yin to strike a balance. FTV declined to comment on its story.

Yin, 29, participated in various debating contests as a political science student at National Taiwan University and served as a speech writer for Ma before joining his campaign office last month.

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