Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday accused Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) of using NT$180 million (US$5.4 million) of hidden ill-gotten party assets as an election war chest.
In 2015, Chu liquidated KMT assets and transferred it to privately owned foundations out of fear that the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee would seize wealth it acquired during the Martial Law era, Ko said.
The KMT taps into that money during elections, he said.
Photo courtesy of the Taiwan People’s Party
“I would like to ask the KMT, how come you cannot pay retired party workers the NT$980 million you owe in unpaid wages, but can afford to spend big in elections?” Ko said, citing the party’s claim that it would organize 15 rallies in the run up to the Jan. 13 presidential and legislative elections.
Chu responded by asking why Ko believes the committee.
Ko later said he would provide financial transactions records that prove his allegations.
In an open letter to TPP members on Friday, Ko said that the KMT presidential campaign was rapidly heading down a pro-China path and had no chance of winning in January.
Ko said that Taiwanese might be used to the pro-unification and pro-independence dichotomy, but aside from this divide, “the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the KMT are much the same,” adding that he questioned whether the two parties are practicing their ideals.
He said the reason why the DPP and KMT have abandoned their beliefs is because their supporters are too kind and believe them too easily.
“For the pan-green camp, once the DPP claims to resist China and protect Taiwan, everything becomes a Chinese Communist Party conspiracy,” Ko said. “And the KMT only has to shout the ‘Republic of China’ loudly for redemption of all their sins.”
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, said he made his cross-strait and foreign affairs positions clear, which are to uphold democracy, oppose Beijing’s “one country, two systems” model, and maintain close relations with the US, and peace with China.
Hou’s running mate, Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康), said that if Ko does not like to be smeared as pro-China by the DPP, he should not do it to the KMT.
Ko later responded that “because I am not ‘red’ [pro-China], I get furious when people smear me as ‘red,’ but for those who are originally ‘red,’ the comment is just right.”
Asked to clarify if he meant Jaw is pro-China, Ko said: “Is he not? Is he not seeking rapid unification with China?”
Regarding Hou’s position on China, Ko responded with the Chinese proverb “one takes on the color of one’s company,” implying Hou has been affected by Jaw.
Additional reporting by Hsu Cho-hsun and CNA
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