Fri, Sep 25, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Hung’s elementary-school visit might be in breach of presidential campaign laws

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) visited an elementary school in Miaoli County last week to show her concern for education in her capacity as deputy legislative speaker, Ministry of Education Minister Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) said yesterday, amid accusations that Hung had breached a regulation on administrative neutrality.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) asked Wu during a question-and-answer session at the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee meeting whether Hung had broken the law when she visited the school and had a meal with students in a classroom on Thursday last week.

Hsu said that Hung had visited the school a day after the Central Election Committee (CEC) formally announced the start of the campaign period for next year’s Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections.

Hsu said Hung was undertaking campaign activity by bringing with her “a group of reporters to the school,” rather than just paying a visit.

The lawmaker called on Wu to make his stance as minister of education clear on the issue and to require schools to strictly adhere to the principle of education to uphold rules of administrative neutrality.

Wu said the visit was arranged by the Miaoli County Government and the ministry was not fully informed about the event, adding that it is not controversial if Hung went in the capacity of deputy legislative speaker.

Hsu said Hung had made the visit as a presidential candidate, with her campaign office issuing a press release about the trip.

The minister said that as the registration of presidential candidates has not started, “[Hung] is not an official candidate yet in terms of the law,” adding that he would refer the question about the criteria for determining who is a candidate to the CEC for a precise answer.

“So you mean that there is still a possibility that the KMT could change its candidate?” Hsu said.

Wu replied: “What you have just said was all yours, not mine,” which prompted laughter from the legislative committee.

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