The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of buying votes in Greater Taichung by treating voters to free shows, meals and other activities.
Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) chief campaign manager, told a press conference that Greater Taichung’s Shihgang (石岡) District Office applied for and was granted NT$700,000 (US$23,000) from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Water Resources Agency to conduct “education training.”
However, those funds were instead used to treat Shihgang residents to entertainment and food, while the KMT asked them to support President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and KMT Greater Taichung legislative candidate Johnny Chiang’s (江啟臣) election campaigns, Wu said.
Wu released footage, dated Dec. 8, showing a number of elders from Shihgang traveling in five buses being treated to a song and dance performance in a showroom in Fongyuan District (豐原).
After the show, 20 tables were set up and the room became a restaurant. In the footage, the guests are treated to a meal during which Shihgang District Office Administrator Wang Wei-cheng (王偉誠), who was in charge of the event, spoke on the stage and hinted that if his office got more funding next year, the residents would be treated better.
Wu said Wang and officials from the KMT’s Greater Taichung branch then went around every table to give a toast and asked the elders to support Ma and Chiang in the elections.
Wu added that the DPP had received complaints since early this month that the KMT has been conducting such activities in 10 districts in Greater Taichung that, Wu said, were definitely acts of vote buying.
In Shihgang, 1,085 people were treated to five activities and nearly NT$700,000 in public money was spent, Wu said.
In response, Chiang said at a separate setting that he was invited to give a speech on stage. Saying there was no vote-buying, the legislative candidate called on his electoral opponents not to resort to a smear campaign.
Additional reporting by staff writer