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By-election to test Ma's resolution to curb vote-buying: Tsai

By-election to test Ma's resolution to curb vote-buying: Tsai

Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen declared yesterday afternoon that an upcoming legislative by-election in Yunlin County in southern Taiwan would test the commitment of Taiwan voters and the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) administration of President Ma Ying-jeou to "terminate the vote-buying political culture" in Taiwan.
"The significance of this election lies in whether it will spell the end of vote-buying in Taiwan after the biggest case of election bribery in our history," said Tsai, who added that the poll will mark a "severe test" for Ma's own declaration that he was "willing to lose for the sake of running clean and upright candidates."
Tsai made the remarks at a meeting of the DPP Central Standing Committee held at National Formosa University in Huwei, Yunlin County after hearing a report by Yunlin County Assemblyman Liu Chien-kuo.
The DPP nominated Liu to run in a Sept. 26 by-election to fill the seat in Yunlin's Second Legislative District left open by the annulment of the election of ex-KMT legislator Chang Suo-wen on vote buying charges by the Taiwan High Court on June 30.
In the Legislative Yuan election on Jan. 11, 2008, Chang won with 49.1 percent of the over 161,000 votes cast, followed by the DPP's Liu with 38.3 percent and Yin Ling-mao of the Taiwan Solidarity Union with 10.7 percent.
However, prosecutors subsequently filed charges to annual Chang's election on vote-buying charges in the wake of the exposure of the biggest vote-buying case in Taiwan's history in which over 500 persons were implicated and 316 indicated so far.
The KMT camp is split by the maverick candidacy of Chang Kui-yuan, the father of the errant KMT lawmaker and chairman of the Yunlin Water Conservancy Society, who quit the KMT after the ruling party nominated Yunlin Technology University Professor and former Yunlin County bureau of education chief Chang Keng-hui.