Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday demanded that the Control Yuan investigate alleged violations of administrative neutrality involving the vice president of the government watchdog over his participation in campaign activities for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
“The Control Yuan should impeach [Control Yuan] Vice President Chen Jinn-lih (陳進利) and suspend him from his duties immediately,” DPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said, adding that the caucus had filed a complaint with the Control Yuan over alleged irregularities involving Chen.
In its latest issue, published yesterday, Next Magazine alleged that Chen has served in an association formed to support Ma and his running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), in the Jan. 14 presidential election since Nov. 23.
The magazine alleged that Chen and Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) visited an office on Nanjing E Road in Taipei, where the Support Ma-Wu Association is located, at noon on Nov. 23 to join discussions related to the election.
In a telephone interview with the Taipei Times, Chen denied any involvement in the association, but admitted that he went to the office on that day in his capacity as a member of the Chinese Tempered Golf Association (CTGA).
“The CTGA serves as the primary base of the Support Ma-Wu Association. I have been a long-term member of the CTGA, but I was never involved in the support group,” Chen said.
The visit he made to the office was one of many gatherings involving CTGA members, Chen said.
“We were talking about how to train more young golfers to become like Yani Tseng (曾雅妮). When the election topic was brought up, I decided to leave early,” he said.
Chen and Wu Ching-ji were reportedly behind the decision to invite Cao Guoyang (曹國揚), a Chinese businessman, to be vice chairman of the Support Ma-Wu Association, the report said.
The magazine quoted Chen and Wu as saying in an article published by Xinhua on Dec. 9 that they hoped the Support Ma-Wu Association could solicit support for the Ma-Wu ticket from China-based Taiwanese businesspeople with Cao’s help.
“Cao will be in charge of campaign literature for Ma Ying-jeou in 24 provinces, including Fujian, -Jiangxi ... to direct Taiwanese investments to support the [so-called] 1992 consensus ... and to encourage them to support [the] Ma-Wu [ticket] as the next leaders of [the] Taiwan area,” Xinhua reported.
Chen told the Taipei Times he did not know Cao.
In a press statement last night, Chen demanded that the magazine print a correction and said he reserved the right to take legal action against the publication.