Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Chou Ni-an (周倪安) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Secretary-General Lee Shih-chuan (李四川) for “making arrangements under the table” to replace KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱).
Flanked by members of the TSU Youth Organization, Chou filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office accusing Chu and Lee of conducting so inn a teng (搓圓仔湯, kneading to make rice ball soup), a Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) term that often refers to political schemes involving coaxing a candidate to drop out of a race by offering money, a post-election government position or other enticements.
That would violate Article 84 of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法), which stipulates that “anyone who asks for an expected promise or asks a candidate or a person having the qualification of candidate to abandon the campaign or conduct certain actions on by offering bribes or other undue benefits” is punishable by law, Chou said.
Photo: Chien Lee-chung, Taipei Times
“Chu and Lee met with Hung several times to persuade her to withdraw from the presidential election while presenting some conditions for exchange,” Chou said. “Since [Hung said that] all the meetings have been recorded, I am filing a complaint with the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, hoping that prosecutors would start an investigation as soon as possible.”
Chou said that although Hung has not registered as a presidential candidate with the Central Election Commission, she has been officially nominated by the KMT national congress and completed all due procedure for party nomination, and thus should be considered “a person having the qualification of candidate” as stipulated in the law.
“It does not matter whether Hung has accepted offers from Chu and Lee. As long as they made the request to persuade Hung to withdraw, they are in violation of the law,” Chou said.
According to the law, violators could be condemned to fixed-term imprisonment of between three and 10 years, and fines of between NT$2 million and NT$20 million (US$60,882 and US$608,828).
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