The government does not spy on politicians, the Presidential Office said yesterday, dismissing recent allegations about Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) whereabouts being monitored after his private meeting with former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was revealed.
Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) pledged to defend the nation’s democratic system four years ago and there would be no politically-motivated surveillance of politicians under his administration.
“President Ma has promised that Taiwan will not commit illegal spying acts, selective investigations and political interferences in the press. Government bodies also guaranteed that they have not and will not spy on politicians. The president would not allow political surveillance in his administration,” he said.
Fan Chiang said Wang had informed Ma about his meetings with political figures from the opposition camps to help push for the smooth running of the extraordinary legislative session scheduled for July 24.
Wang did not specifically mention his plan to meet with Tsai on Wednesday night, but the president believed that Wang’s efforts will help with the approval of major bills in the extra session, he said.
The meeting between Wang and Tsai was exposed after a netizen posted footage of Wang’s limousine parked near Tsai’s apartment in Yonghe District (永和), New Taipei City (新北市), on YouTube on the night it took place.
As Ma, formally announced his bid to be re-elected as the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) chairman on Wednesday afternoon, the meeting was largely interpreted as a factional power struggle in the KMT due to the sensitivity of the meeting’s timing.
The netizen, named “millhouse,” who posted the video clip on YouTube said he took the footage at about 8:20pm while he was driving home from work. However, the DPP questioned the exposure of the private event and alleged that it was revealed because Wang’s whereabouts were being closely monitored by the Ma administration.
Ma yesterday declined to comment on the KMT chairman election. During a visit to Tungpei Industrial Co in Taoyuan, Ma discussed the development of the machinery industry and said he expected the legislature to resolve the US beef import issue to strengthen trade and economic ties with major trade partners.
“We hope the lawmakers can pass the US beef imports bill in the extra session, so that Taiwan and the US can build up our trade and economic relations again,” he said.
The legislature is slated to hold an extra session on July 25 to address US beef import bill and capital gains tax among other bills.