Wed, Aug 27, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Presidential Office denies King ordered Chang out

LIEN SPOKESMAN GONE:Chang Sho-wen, recently made Sean Lien’s mayoral campaign spokesman, was removed from the post after remarks on Wang Yu-chi

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Presidential Office yesterday spurned a claim in the media calling National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) the person who ordered former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) to leave, reiterating that it was MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) who proposed the idea, which was later approved by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Chang visited the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday without having received a notice of subpoena in a bid to “bring the truth to light.”

According to local media reports, which all carried the story by quoting “sources,” Chang told prosecutors that it was King who demanded his resignation.

The Presidential Office yesterday held its first press conference, after days of written statements, on Chang’s resignation, with Presidential Office spokesperson Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) saying it “contradicts the truth” for Chang, according to media reports, to say it was King who forced him to go.

King has long been called “the underground president” by the opposition, which accuses him of overreaching his authority on various occasions, including recent visits to a number of government agencies considered outside his purview.

The Presidential Office’s statement underlined Wang’s role in the matter, stressing: “Minister Wang has publicly explained many times that he himself proposed Chang’s removal from the post, an idea that was supported by the president and was not directed by King.”

Ma Wei-kuo said the Presidential Office admonished people against capitalizing on the matter for political means, “which would hurt both the country and the cross-strait relationship.”

However, Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) called into question the Presidential Office’s statement defending King, suspecting that it constitutes potential “collusion among witnesses,” as the president, King and the premier might all later be summoned by prosecutors and their statements would converge on the conclusion that Chang was lying.

Meanwhile, Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), who was appointed Taipei City mayoral candidate Sean Lien’s (連勝文) spokesperson on Aug. 17, was stripped of the position yesterday after calling for Wang’s resignation on a political TV show on Monday night.

Lien’s campaign director, KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), issued a statement yesterday morning announcing that Chang Sho-wen, while remaining part of the campaign with other tasks, would no longer speak for the team.

Chang Sho-wen said later yesterday that he decided to resign on his own after discussions with Tsai on Monday night, when he received a rush of calls from the media following his criticism of the minister on the show.

Asked if he had come under pressure from the Presidential Office, Chang Sho-wen said no.

Also denying that the rearrangement had anything to do with the president, Tsai said Chang Sho-wen was removed from the post to avoid possible “misunderstanding,” as the latter’s remarks were “inconsistent with the campaign team’s position.”

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