Tue, Aug 30, 2016 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislator apologizes again after election remark

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) yesterday apologized again for his criticism of Hualien City voters after the party lost a mayoral by-election on Saturday, saying his remark hurt voters’ feelings and the party’s image.

“As someone who has worked in politics for a long time, I sincerely apologize for making the remark more or less to vent my anger,” Tuan said as he made his first public appearance after he said on Facebook on Saturday that: “I can pretend to respect the election’s result, but I cannot pretend not to despise the voters.”

Following condemnation from KMT members and netizens, Tuan deleted the post and published an apology, which nevertheless accused the KMT of vote-buying.

He delivered another apology yesterday amid snowballing criticism.

Tuan said his remark hurt the feeling of Hualien voters and the electorate as a whole, as well as damaging the DPP’s image and the party’s supporters.

“I will make fewer public statements for the time being. I will continue to reflect on myself and deal with my impulsive nature,” he said.

“If the public is not satisfied with my performance in the legislature, I am naturally unqualified to reassume the position [of legislator],” Tuan said in reply to demands that he resign.

Tuan said he did not come forward until yesterday because he was still emotional and did not want to make another mistake, and neither the DPP nor President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) asked him to apologize.

In response to media queries on whether he had evidence that the KMT was involved in vote-buying as he alleged, Tuan said about 10 percent of the alleged vote-buying cases at the level of township elections happen in Hualien, and reports of vote-buying were numerous during the mayoral election.

He called on prosecutors to speed up investigationa into vote-buying allegations to stem the illegal practice.

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