The Taipei branch of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday downplayed its involvement in an activity to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival organized by KMT Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ju’s (賴素如) office, despite Lai’s alleged involvement in a bribery case.
Lai, a lawyer who served as the director of the office maintained by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in his capacity as KMT chairman, is being detained by prosecutors over her alleged role in helping a multinational consortium win a bid for the Taipei Twin Towers project in exchange for a kickback of NT$10 million (US$334,706).
The KMT Disciplinary Committee suspended her membership in April over her alleged involvement in the scandal.
Her city councilor status has not been affected by the detainment and her office continues to operate.
Yesterday morning, her office gave out free zhongzi (粽子) to local residents in her electoral district of Beitou to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.
Director of the KMT’s Taipei City branch’s Shilin and Beitou office Chen Chao-hung (陳昭宏) attended the activity and joined Lai’s team in defending her innocence.
“Local supporters believe in Councilor Lai’s innocence. The scandal is a smear campaign against her,” he said.
Supporters joined Chen and Lai’s office staff to call for her release, dismissing concerns about the political implications of the activity.
Chung Ze-liang (陳照良), the head of the KMT’s Taipei City branch, said Lai is still a city councilor and the activity was just a festive event.
Lai was first detained on March 30 and last month was detained for a further two months.