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Taipei mayoral candidate under fire over donations

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Tsai Cheng-yuan (蔡正元), a Taipei mayoral hopeful, yesterday accused fellow KMT lawmaker Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), also a Taipei mayoral hopeful, of illegally accepting political donations. In response, Ting denied the allegation and said that the records of his campaign funds are transparent.

Tsai said that according to the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法), an enterprise cannot give a candidate more than NT$1 million in a given year, and that a candidate cannot accept political donations from foreign-invested firms.

Ting, however, accepted political donations, totaling NT$2 million, from a foreign-invested firm twice, Tsai said, adding that according to the law, Ting can be sentenced to up to five years in prison for accepting political donations from foreign firms.

Tsai said that unless Ting can prove that the records are erroneous, he should exit the KMT's Taipei mayoral primary.

When interviewed by reporters, Ting produced the passbook for his political donations account and other relevant papers, adding that Tsai had falsely accused him.

Ting said that the company in question had remitted NT$1 million into his account on Oct. 30, 2011, but that the money was immediately transferred over to the Control Yuan in accordance with the law once it was verified that the firm was foreign invested.

In response to claims that two batches of NT$1 million had been transferred into his account, Ting said that the Control Yuan records prove that there was only one such remittance, and that his account is transparent and will stand up to scrutiny.

In addition to Tsai and Ting, KMT Central Committee member Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰), has also announced a bid to run for Taipei mayor.

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