Thu, Feb 02, 2012 - Page 3 News List

DPP to press for probes into vote-buying allegations

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it would step up pressure on the judiciary to investigate several vote-buying cases stemming from the Jan. 14 legislative elections.

“The Central Standing Committee [CSC] today concluded that the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] had taken vote--buying to a whole new level in the legislative elections with a lot of new tactics,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said after the weekly committee meeting.

The meeting also decided to highlight the judiciary’s inaction on a vote-buying lawsuit filed by then-DPP legislative candidate Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) in Chiayi County’s first district against his KMT rival, Wong Chung-chun (翁重鈞).

Tsai lost to Wong by 895 votes, but has filed a lawsuit to invalidate the result over Wong’s alleged vote buying.

The DPP has secured concrete evidence, including videos and eyewitness testimony, and was confident Tsai would win the lawsuit, Lin said.

However, the party was concerned that the judiciary planned to close the case by just prosecuting local campaign workers, instead of Wong, which has been common practice in past vote-buying lawsuits, he said.

The KMT has been “innovative” in its vote-buying practices, Lin said.

“For instance, local campaigners hired people and paid them ‘wages’ so the money could not be considered vote-buying,” he said.

Outgoing DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also gave some of her last orders before she steps down on March 1, demanding that the party do its best to win the by-election for township chief of Huatan Township (花壇), Changhua County, on Wednesday next week. She also said the party needed to establish a platform to maximize the policy formulation capacity of hundreds of DPP aides and assistants.

With a platform to integrate the aides who work for the party’s think tank and Policy Research Committee, as well as assistants for the DPP’s 40 legislators, the DPP would be able to generate policy-making momentum to dominate agenda-setting on social and policy issues, Lin quoted Tsai as saying.

Next week’s by-election would be the third township chief election in Huatan in the past two years because previous results were invalidated because of vote buying.

In other news, Lin said Tsai is expected to submit her complete review of the presidential election loss at the end of this month.

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