Yen Kuan-hen (顏寬恆) yestrday launched his campaign as the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in the Greater Taichung legislative by-election at an event attended by party heavyweights and lawmakers.
Yen Kuan-hen is the son of former Non-Partisan Solidarity Union legislator Yen Ching-piao (顏清標), who was found guilty of corruption and sentenced last month to three-and-half years in prison.
Yen Ching-piao joined his son onstage at the ceremony, urging locals to support Yen Kuan-hen in the by-election and defending his own achievements in boosting the local economy and developing the city when he was a legislator.
“I’ve offered my dedicated service to Greater Taichung for the past 20 years and helped develop the city, especially its transportation infrastructure. I think locals are aware of the contributions I’ve made to Taichung. Please support my son in the by-election, so that he can continue my efforts,” he said.
KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) also joined the candidate on stage to show their support, and were greeted by loud cheers.
Wang said that the corruption sentence against Yen Ching-piao had been handed down for a practice that almost all local government heads had at one point undertaken.
“It used to be common practice for local politicians to use their special allowances to conduct local affairs. We regret that Yen Ching-piao was sentenced over this,” he said.
Yen Ching-piao was found guilty of spending more than NT$20 million (US$688,500) in Greater Taichung County Council funds between 1998 and 2000 at hostess bars and KTV lounges during his tenure as council speaker.
Although he was an independent, he was deemed close to the KMT and was said to wield great influence in local politics.
Yen Kuan-hen, 35, served as an assistant to his father before the latter was convicted of corruption. He will be running against the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate, Greater Taichung Councilor Chen Shih-kai (陳世凱), in the Jan. 26 election.
Yen Kuan-hen yesterday thanked local residents for their continued support and pledged to dedicate himself to continuing his father’s development of Greater Taichung if elected.
“The DPP defines this by-election as a showdown between the KMT and the DPP. However, for me, the aim of this election is to elect someone that will serve the people and solve their problems. I will continue my father’s mission to improve Greater Taichung if you give me the chance to do so,” he said.
Despite the great importance that the KMT has attached to the by-election, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is the party’s chairman, did not attend the campaign event yesterday.