Thu, Jun 11, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Political rivals exchange blows, deny romantic feud

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Chang Sho-wen talks on the telephone in Yunlin County yesterday.

Photo: Lin Kuo-hsien, Taipei Times

Long rivals in politics — and reportedly perhaps in romance — Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) exchanged blows at a banquet at a Taipei hotel last month, a local media report said.

The Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported that during a banquet for people from Yunlin County living in Taipei, Liu and Chang were seen fighting in the Taipei Garden Hotel’s restroom.

Both hail from Yunlin and have been rivals in the same electoral district.

The magazine quoted an unnamed witness as saying that, after the fight, Chang walked out of the restroom bleeding from his lips and that Liu’s glasses appeared to be missing.

The anonymous source added that Liu “shouted” to Chang: “It does not matter if I [get elected as] a lawmaker next time. If you want to fight, let us do it again. Do not run away.”

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Chang confirmed the incident, saying that he was in the restroom first.

Liu came in later, Chang said, adding: “When Liu saw me, he said the F-word to me and hit me.”

“I was responding only in self-defense,” Chang said.

Chang said that Liu should work harder at controlling his anger and apologize, since he set a worse example for the public.

Asked whether the incident was caused by a relationship problem — as both Chang and Liu have reportedly dated former DPP New Taipei City councilor Lee Wan-yu (李婉鈺) — or by political rivalry, Chang said it must be the latter.

“I do not think it has to do [with a relationship issue]; it must be about the election,” Chang said.

“Many local supporters have been urging me to run again, but I do not have such a plan at the moment,” he said.

Liu issued a statement accusing Chang of manipulating the news.

“If Chang believes that I have harmed him, he should report it to the police. I would fully cooperate in the investigation and shoulder whatever responsibility that I should,” Liu said in the statement. “It happens to be the nomination period [for January’s legislative election] at the moment. I would not be part of intentional news manipulation to waste social resources.”

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