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KMT, DPP condemn vote-buying after Tainan council speaker detained

KMT, DPP condemn vote-buying after Tainan council speaker detained

Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) The heads of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Tuesday that vote-buying cannot be condoned and that bribery allegations in the Tainan council speaker election will be dealt with according to party discipline. The Tainan District Court early Tuesday granted prosecutors' request to hold Tainan Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (???) of the KMT incommunicado for alleged vote-buying in the Dec. 25 speakership election. Prosecutors asked that Lee be detained because he posed a flight risk and could destroy evidence and collude with others if he were freed. Three others implicated in the case, including Tsai Chi-hsin (???), a member of the DPP Tainan chapter's advisory committee, were also detained, while several others, including Pan Hsing-chuan (???), a DPP Tainan chapter official, were released on bail. Lee became council chief after defeating then-incumbent speaker Lai Mei-hui (???) of the DPP by a 29-26 vote margin even though the KMT held only 16 seats in the 57-member council, compared with 29 for the DPP. KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???), who is also mayor of New Taipei, stressed Tuesday that the public will never condone vote-buying and said he respected the judicial system and hoped prosecutors get to the bottom of the case. He also noted that the party has a strict performance evaluation and anti-corruption system to deal with the matter. Lin Yi-hua (???), director of the KMT's Culture and Communications Committee, said the party will activate its evaluation and disciplinary system and deal with the case swiftly. Because the KMT Central Standing Committee will pass new evaluation and disciplinary measures at a meeting Wednesday, the case will be dealt with by a newly elected evaluation and disciplinary committee, she said. A DPP spokesman said, meanwhile, that DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (???) was "saddened" by DPP members being implicated in Lee's bribery case. Cheng Yun-peng (???) said that the case will be turned over to the party's Central Advisory Committee to be investigated and to have offenders disciplined. "The DPP will demand the most severe discipline and will show no lenience," Cheng said. He also said the DPP had already expelled five party members in the bribery case and formed a task force after the election to look into the case. He said that prosecutors interviewed several councilmen based on information from the task force, and "we believe that they have provided a lot of reliable information to prosecutors to help advance their investigation." (By Claudia Liu, Sophia Yeh and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-17 11:32 GMT+08:00