The campaign Party Chairman James Soong said Wednesday it planned to sue the China Times over an article alleging he asked President Ma Ying-jeou to appoint close allies in key jobs.
On Monday, Ma sued the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party for repeating allegations from last week’s edition of Next Magazine that he had a secret meeting with a bookie about financing his re-election campaign.
PFP spokeswoman Huang Shan-shan strongly denied the allegations against Soong, demanding the China Times came up with an apology and an explanation within 24 hours. If the Chinese-language daily did not do so, the PFP would file suits, she said.
The China Times claimed that when Ma took food from their common region of origin, China’s Hunan Province, when he went to see Soong, the latter asked the president to appoint two of his confidants at the top of state-owned enterprises.
Soong wanted jobs for two prominent supporters of his, David Chung and Wu Jung-ming, the paper said. Chung was appointed chairman of Taiwan Fertilizer Co., Ltd, but KMT lawmakers said Wednesday the move had nothing to do with pressure from Soong.
Ma found it difficult to give in to Soong’s demands, which led to the latter deciding to go ahead with his presidential bid, according to the paper.
The China Times quoted an unnamed senior official saying he once received a phone call from Soong complaining that Ma had never visited him since taking office as president in May 2008.
The unnamed official passed the message on to the Presidential Office, and as a result Ma took then-Premier Liu Chao-shiuan to visit Soong, the paper wrote.
Because Soong used the meeting to ask for jobs, Ma was unhappy and never scheduled another visit to Soong out of fear the topic would be the same, the China Times said.
Soong was expected to register his candidacy at the Central Election Commission on Thursday, ending months of speculation as to whether he would really run.
Critics blame him for splitting the pan-blue camp in 2000 by running as an independent and allowing the DPP’s Chen Shui-bian to win.
Until now, the KMT has followed a so-called “policy of respect,” refraining from launching any personal attacks on Soong.
Doubt was still hanging over the Soong candidacy on Wednesday as his running mate, Lin Ruey-shiung, fought with allegations that his United States citizenship was still valid. Earlier, Huang said he renounced US nationality during a late September visit to the American Institute in Taiwan, but critics said the procedure was not that simple.
The CEC is reportedly hopeful it will receive the necessary evidence before November 26 so it can reach a decision about Lin’s eligibility to stand for election.