Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) filed a lawsuit with the Banciao District Court yesterday to invalidate his rival’s victory in a hotly contested election in New Taipei City’s (新北市) third electoral district on Saturday last week.
Lee also filed a defamation complaint against Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), a three-term legislator-at-large of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who edged Lee by a 0.5 percent margin, or just over 1,000 votes, in Sanchong District (三重).
Lee claimed that he had been enjoying a comfortable lead in the run-up to election day until Gao accused him of vote-buying in the final stages of the campaign.
“Gao’s campaign aired false accusations against me by holding news conferences, distributing brochures and sending broadcast vehicles through the district,” Lee said at a news conference in the company of his lawyer.
Lee, a former two-term mayor of Sanchong before Taipei county was upgraded into a special municipality, said he originally chose to accept the election’s outcome.
“However, many of my supporters would not resign themselves to defeat and pushed me to stand up to challenge the outcome,” Lee said, adding that he has given evidence to prosecutors to back his allegations against Gao.
A few days before the election, some borough chiefs in Sanchong were either summoned for questioning or detained on charges of election bribery. Describing himself as an unswerving supporter of clean politics, Lee said that those cases had nothing to do with him.
“I was not involved in any vote-buying schemes,” Lee said, implying that his election rival set up a behind-the-scenes vote-buying scam to blacken his name in an attempt to sway voters.
Responding to Lee’s challenge to his victory, Gao said he had not resorted to name--calling or finger-pointing at any point during the campaign.
“What my campaign did was just remind voters not to yield to election bribery or to sell out their sacred ballots,” Gao said, adding that he would respond after further studying Lee’s accusations.
In the same electoral district last Saturday, the DPP’s presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) defeated President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the presidential election by a 5.3 percent margin, or just over 10,000 votes. The district was also carried narrowly in the 2008 legislative elections by the DPP, with then-DPP legislative candidate Yu Tian (余天) winning by about 2,000 votes.