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Tsai steps up attack on Ma to investigate alleged surveillance

Tsai steps up attack on Ma to investigate alleged surveillance

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen on Friday challenged President Ma Ying-jeou to investigate whether her campaign activities were being monitored by intelligence agencies. On the attack in a policy presentation forum ahead of the Jan. 14 presidential election, Tsai urged Ma to clarify some questions over the alleged mobilization of intelligence agents to collect information about opposing candidates to benefit Ma's election campaign. "When did the Investigation Bureau begin collecting information from presidential candidates?" she asked, suspecting that the collection process began before she registered for her candidacy. She also dared Ma to disclose original documents to see whether the content included the monitoring of campaign rallies and estimates of vote totals. Tsai urged judicial agencies to "immediately seize" related documents because they would be valuable evidence for future investigation and could be destroyed and fabricated. Ma did not directly answer Tsai's questions, but said of the allegations, "This is something I would never do." "I have never seen any estimates of vote totals from the Investigation Bureau and have never asked for this kind of report. The bureau has never provided it either," he added. Ma stressed his vow to end illegal wiretapping three years ago during his inauguration ceremony in 2008. Meanwhile, Tsai reiterated her commitment to reaching a "Taiwan consensus" based on democratic means as the basis for dealing with China, but she said that if elected, she would not "unilaterally change" agreements already settled upon by both sides. "As to issues that drew public doubt, we will also deal with them through negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties and a consensus of the majority," she said. According to recent polls, Ma and Tsai are locked in a tight race, while People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong remains a distant third. Soong, a veteran politician who ran for president as an independent in 2000 after splitting with the KMT, is seen as likely to hurt Ma's chances of winning re-election. The remaining presidential platform presentation forum will take place on Jan. 6. The vice presidential candidates will take part in one platform presentation on Jan. 2. The three candidates have already sparred in two televised debates on Dec. 3 and 17, respectively, and a policy presentation forum on Dec. 23. A vice presidential candidate debate was held Dec. 10. (By Nancy Liu)


Updated : 2021-05-10 15:05 GMT+08:00