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May 29, 2017

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DPP calls for KMT to remove two corrupt candidates

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called for the Kuomintang (KMT) to strip its Taitung County magistrate and Miaoli County magistrate nominees of their right to run in the upcoming elections.

The KMT retracted Keelung mayoral hopeful Huang Ching-tai's (黃景泰) nomination to run for the position on Wednesday, as Huang was previously summoned by prosecutors for questioning in mid-June over corruption allegations. Prosecutors attempted three times to detain him, but the speaker was released on bail by the district court. Huang has maintained that the allegations were part of an attempt to sabotage his chances of winning the race.

The KMT has revoked Huang's nominee status due to the corruption allegations and the damage he brought to the KMT's reputation, and since the party's Taitung County magistrate candidate Justin Huang (黃健庭) and Miaoli County magistrate candidate Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) were also embroiled in corruption cases, they should also be stripped of their rights to run in the elections, said DPP spokeswoman Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青).

"Huang and Hsu have been indicted and sentenced respectively, but they are still allowed to run in the elections ... is it that the KMT regards Taitung and Miaoli as second-class counties?" demanded Hsu. "Three election candidates are corrupted, yet only one is stripped of his candidate status. The KMT's standards are unbelievable," said Hsu.

The DPP does not really have opinions on the number of times the KMT has to change its candidate for Keelung mayor, but from the voters' point of view, the KMT should take the people's thoughts into consideration and handle the situation with equal standards, Hsu stated.

Justin Huang was indicted on corruption charges in August, 2008 when he was discovered to have taken commission from pharmacists and pressured several hospitals into purchasing specific types of drugs, but the case has not gone to court yet. Hsu Yao-chang was sentenced to nine years behind bars for gaining illegal profits from soil retailers in 2013.

While both candidates mentioned above were either indicted or sentenced, Huang Ching-tai had his candidacy withdrawn before he was officially indicted, the DPP spokeswoman pointed out.

9-Percent Ma and 20-Percent Huang

"If the KMT's standards for removing their nominees' candidacies are not based on the court rulings, but the drop in public approval rates, then the party should also regard the approval rates of Taichung mayoral hopeful Jason Hu (胡志強) and Taipei mayor candidate Sean Lien (連勝文)," said Hsu.

"The public has also found it odd that President Ma Ying-jeou, with his approval rates of less than 10 percent, can retract the election bid of a candidate with a 20-percent approval rate."

The political parties are allowed to switch candidates before September, when it is time for the prospective candidates to register for the elections.

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