The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday withdrew Central Committee member Pan Chun-rong’s (潘俊榮) candidacy for Saturday’s Central Standing Committee (CSC) election over alleged acts of bribery, casting more shadows on the election amid vote-swapping accusations.
Pan, chairman of Kseco Construction Co, was accused of hosting a banquet with party delegates last week and allegedly giving each guest two bottles of red wine as a gift.
The gift set was worth about NT$1,500 and included his business card.
KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said the party’s Discipline Committee launched a probe on the allegation immediately, and decided to withdraw his candidacy while continuing to look into the case.
“The allegations against Pan have affected the KMT’s reputation, and the party has decided to withdraw his candidacy,” Yin said.
The committee will also hold a meeting to determine whether Pan’s acts should lead to suspension of his party membership, he said.
Pan yesterday said he had only just returned to Taiwan after a 10-day trip, and that it was impossible for him to host banquets or send gifts.
“I am not stupid enough to solicit votes this way, and I would never give such low-quality wine as a gift. This is a vicious accusation against me,” he said.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is also the party’s chairman, expressed concerns about bribery allegations and rumors about vote-swapping tactics during the election campaign for Saturday’s CSC election.
He insisted the party bans CSC candidates from giving gifts, hosting banquets and forming alliances, and instructed the party to give severe punishments to any candidates who violate party regulations.
Allegations about vote-swapping schemes were made last week by a group of young KMT delegates.
They accused 26 of the 46 CSC candidates of forming a “26 Alliance” and working together to guarantee that each would be elected.
A total of 1,685 delegates are to elect the 32 CSC members. The CSC is the KMT’s highest decisionmaking body.