The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) should take responsibility for cases of vote-buying during elections involving KMT members and for the negative impact political corruption has had on Taiwan’s democracy, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
The KMT was slapped with a fine of NT$45 million (US$1.55 million) last year and the vote-buying cases in which KMT members were involved accounted for 57 of the total of 68 cases — or 84 percent — reported to the Central Election Commission, according to a report given to the KMT’s Central Standing Committee on Wednesday.
“This shows that the KMT is a vote-buying party that is hurting Taiwan’s democracy and which corrupts elections. The party and [President] Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should both be held accountable for their dirty tricks,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference.
“All candidates who were involved in vote-buying were nominated by Ma himself. However, Ma has just acted like a bystander,” Lin added.
Ma, who also serves as KMT chairman, has described the corruption cases as a “stigma” and has vowed to fight acts of corruption during elections.
For every candidate who is convicted of vote-buying, political parties are subject to a fine in accordance with an amendment of Article 112 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), Lin said.
Nine DPP members have been convicted of vote-buying; six were convicted for vote-buying in borough chief elections, two in township council elections and one in a township mayoral election, Lin said, adding that the party was fined about NT$7 million.
“The DPP has used a strictly monitored nomination process, which is very different to the KMT’s [nomination process],” he said.
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said that if the KMT was serious about fighting vote-buying and political corruption, the party should do its best to legislate the Political Party Act (政黨法) and abide by the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法).
The DPP yesterday also officially unveiled the title of a series of rallies which are to be held before a mass demonstration next month to protest the Ma “administration’s incompetence, refusal to listen to people’s voice and kowtowing to China.”
Up to 10 rallies, titled “Enraged citizens stay in solidarity” (火大作伙行), are to be held across the country, with DPP speakers making speeches on a platform trailer.
The first four rallies are scheduled to be held at Longshan Temple in Taipei tomorrow, in Jhongli (中壢), Taoyuan County and Greater Taichung on Sunday and in Luodong Township (羅東), Yilan County, on Dec. 23.