Tue, Sep 26, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmaker to countersue commissioner over claim

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Chiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang, front row left, and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ming-wen, front row right, attend an opening ceremony for a new suspension bridge in Chiayi County’s Meishan Township yesterday.

Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsun, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) yesterday said he will take legal action against DPP Chiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang (張花冠) over her claim that Chen has interfered with the judiciary.

Chang on Wednesday filed a sexual harassment complaint against Chen after he put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close to him to have a conversation during a religious ceremony on Sept. 13.

Chang on Saturday said on Facebook that Chen did not only harass her, but also threatened her, saying: “You will be killed in a terrible way.”

Citing an article published on Wednesday by Chinese-language news site Legal Times, which said that Chen has influenced the judiciary over his alleged involvement in a corruption case, Chang also accused him of helping substandard developers win construction projects from the county government during his term as county commissioner.

The relationship between the two politicians has reportedly soured due to a conflict over next year’s county commissioner election.

The tension between the two was also high during the DPP’s national congress on Sunday, during which Chang openly criticized Chen and his family, saying Chen’s brother accused her of pressuring President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to grant her a Cabinet position.

Chen yesterday held a news conference, denying Chang’s claims.

Chen said he will take legal action against Chang over her accusation of judicial interference and will ask the DPP’s Clean Government Commission to investigate him in addition to cooperating with an investigation by prosecutors.

He also said he will resign as the DPP’s Electoral Strategy Committee convener, as he has achieved the goal of formulating a nomination mechanism for next year’s mayoral and councilor elections.

He denied threatening Chang, but refused to say what they discussed.

“I know what has been said, she also knows what has been said and Guanyin [the goddess of mercy] knows what has been said. God would punish me if I had said any of those things,” Chen said.

However, he apologized for making Chang uncomfortable by putting his arm around her.

“For the sake of the DPP, I have been tolerant and I have not made any hateful remarks against her,” he said.

He also apologized for not meeting Chang’s demand of merging Chiayi County and Chiayi City, and of convincing the DPP to nominate Chang’s sister-in-law, Wang Lan-fang (王蘭芳), in next year’s county commissioner election, which are beyond his capacity as a lawmaker and as committee convener.

Speaking of Chang’s behalf, Chiayi County News Marketing Department Director Lee Ya-chen (李雅貞) said that Wang did not seek a nomination in next year’s election, adding that Chang would defend herself in court if Chen pressed charges against her.

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