Chiao Cheng-chung (喬正中), director of Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) presidential campaign office, was yesterday summoned by the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office for questioning in the ongoing probe over the replacement of Hung as the KMT’s presidential candidate.
Chiao was summoned as a witness, the SID said.
Separately yesterday, the SID also summoned Hung adviser and speech writer Ko Ming-hsiu (柯明秀) for questioning regarding Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei’s (陳亭妃) allegation that two individuals had attended a meeting between KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Hung, in which Chu allegedly either pressured or enticed Hung to drop her candidacy.
Chen claimed the “two individuals” possessed an audio recording of that meeting.
The investigation also aims to clarify the allegation that Chu offered a payment of NT$30 million (US$917,824) to Hung as financial inducement in exchange for her quitting the race, which allowed the KMT to convene a party congress on Oct. 17 to nominate Chu to replace Hung as the party’s candidate.
Chen and Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Chou Ni-an (周倪安), took legal action against Chu and KMT Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) earlier this month, accusing the two of so inn a teng (搓圓仔湯), a commonly used Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) term that means “kneading to make rice ball soup.”
When used in a political context, the term means schemes involving the coaxing of a candidate to drop out of a race by offering money, a government position or other enticements.
However, such actions are a violation of Article 84 of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法), which stipulates that “anyone who asks for an expected promise or asks a candidate or a person having the qualification of candidate to abandon the campaign or conduct certain actions by offering bribes or other undue benefits” is punishable by law.
On Oct. 21, the SID separately summoned Chu, Lee and Hung for questioning in the matter.