No one would believe that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign spent less than that of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in the January presidential election, the DPP said yesterday.
“The Chinese Nationalist Party’s [KMT] declaration of received donations was a lot different than people expected,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said in response to the Control Yuan’s release on Monday of the final balance of political donations received by all candidates.
According to the report, Ma’s campaign received NT$446 million (US$14.8 million) in donations, while Tsai’s campaign had NT$756 million.
If Ma’s camp failed to declare some of the donations it received, those funds would be illegal political donations, Lin said.
“The DPP strongly suspects that we have a president who had lied to the people,” Lin said.
Ma’s declaration of NT$440 million in expenditures was less than the NT$460 million spent by the late DPP politician Chen Ting-nan (陳定南) in his campaign for the provincial governor election in 1994, Lin said.
The KMT’s “most unbelievable” declaration was in the promotion and communication category, with expenditures of NT$280 million — NT$80 million less than Tsai declared in the same category, he said, adding that with the huge number of advertisements the KMT placed during the campaign, the declaration was “hard to believe.”
DPP lawmakers were also skeptical of the KMT’s figures, with Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) and Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) saying that Ma could have abused government resources for campaigning and could have taken advantage of private businesses by asking for resources for free.
Separately yesterday, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) urged the judiciary to probe the KMT’s spending “the same way it investigated former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) corruption scandal.”
“I think there was something wrong [with the Ma camp’s declaration],” Lu said on the sidelines of an anti-nuclear event when asked by press for comments on the matter.
In response to the DPP’s questioning of the Ma camp’s spending on campaign advertisements, KMT spokesperson Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) defended the KMT’s declaration of the political donations Ma and his running mate Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) received during the election campaign, accusing the DPP of waging a smear campaign.
“President Ma’s campaign office filed political donations in accordance with the laws … A large portion of the campaign advertisements were done via the Internet and new media platforms, and such advertising saved us a lot of money,” she said.
She said the camp filed its declaration of political donations and campaign spending legally, and called on the DPP to present solid evidence before making accusations.
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih