The office of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of exploiting the pain of Kaohsiung residents for political gain after the party called on the Control Yuan to investigate the former Kaohsiung mayor to clarify her role in alleged misuse of funds by the Kaohsiung City Government.
Before the controversy over the donations for people affected by the 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions is resolved, Chen, who was Kaohsiung mayor from 2006 to 2018, should remove herself from the Control Yuan nomination process, the KMT said.
With the terms of the current Control Yuan members expiring on July 31, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has nominated Chen to head the branch. The Legislative Yuan is to vote on Tsai’s nominations on Friday. If Chen’s nomination is approved by the Legislative Yuan, she would also become chairwoman of the National Human Rights Commission, which is to be officially established on Aug. 1.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The KMT caucus yesterday criticized increased security measures, including barricades, outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei ahead of Friday’s vote.
KMT legislative caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that in his three terms as a legislator he has never seen this level of security.
KMT Legislator Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said that the situation outside the Legislative Yuan made it seem like martial law had been imposed.
Chen’s office said in a statement that investigations conducted by former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) administration and Control Yuan members nominated by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had not found any evidence of illegality.
If the KMT believes that it has new evidence to prove the donations were used illegally, it should give it to prosecutors and let the judiciary “distinguish right from wrong,” the statement said.
The office accused KMT representatives of exploiting Kaohsiung’s pain, saying that they have “repeatedly poured salt on the wounds of Kaohsiung’s people.”
In a statement on Facebook, Vice President William Lai (賴清德) defended Chen and likened her to late democracy advocate Chen Wen-chen (陳文成).
“In the face of the KMT’s false accusations against Chen Chu, I believe that [she] can definitely stand the test,” Lai wrote.
This month marks the sixth anniversary of gas explosions in Kaohsiung that began late on July 31, 2014, killing 32 people and injuring more than 300.
Additional reporting by Lin Liang-sheng
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