Some lawmakers yesterday asked Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
"Ma owes an apology to Keelung's citizens, as they may have made the wrong decision to vote for Hsu because of Ma's recommendation," Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) told a news conference. Chen vied with Hsu for the Keelung mayorship last year.
Hsu, who was re-elected last year, was indicted on charges of corruption by the Keelung District Prosecutors' Office on Thursday.
The prosecutors said in the indictment that Hsu's decision to buy a piece of land for the city's bus park was made for his personal benefit.
"Ma should have known that Hsu had a problem of integrity, as Hsu was indicted before when Ma was justice minister. Ma should give Hsu a stern reprimand," TSU Legislator David Huang (黃適卓) said.
People First Party (PFP) Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), who also vied with Hsu in the election, also demanded Ma's apology, saying that "citizens of Keelung were deceived by Hsu and Ma into thinking that Hsu would be a good mayor."
"Integrity is a basic requirement for a public servant, but Hsu lacks even that," Liu said.
During a press conference yesterday at Taipei City Hall, Ma expressed his regret over Hsu's indictment, but insisted that the party will not revoke Hsu's party membership unless he is found guilty.
When a reporter asked Ma if the KMT would cancel Hsu's membership immediately in order to avoid tarnishing the party's image, Ma said that being prosecuted is not equal to being guilty, and defended the party's policy.
"Just because the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cancels Chao Cheng-min's (
"We are following party regulations. It's important for a party to have a consistent policy for members to follow, and I think our handling of the situation so far is appropriate," Ma said.
KMT regulations state that a party member's rights should be suspended if he or she is prosecuted. The party cancels membership if a person is found guilty in the initial trial.
Ma campaigned for Hsu during last year's local government elections, and his support is seen as the main reason Hsu was able to defeat the candidates from the PFP and TSU.
Barely two weeks after Hsu began serving his second term, he was questioned by public prosecutors for more than 20 hours about his involvement in the corruption scandal.
The KMT's integrity committee also initiated an investigation of the case in January, and decided to suspend Hsu's party rights.
Ma said the party's policy about "black gold" -- the Chinese-language term for corruption -- remained the same, but will review its nomination mechanism and campaign procedure.
Meanwhile, during yesterday's National Affairs Forum, TSU Legislator Lo Chih-ming (
"Two DPP legislators who were charged with defrauding the Bureau of National Health Insurance were expelled from the party, but Hsu was not disciplined by the KMT," Lo said.
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