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Taiwan: Lawsuit over Election Law Violations

(Dec. 14, 2010) On December 8, 2010, the main opposition party in the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), announced that it will sue four members of the ruling party, the Kuomintang (Nationalists, or KMT), for slander, following an election eve shooting on November 26 at a KMT rally. The DPP alleges that the KMT was motivated by a desire to cause DPP candidates to lose votes. DPP spokesman Tsai Chi-chang has claimed that KMT leaders tried to make the public believe the shooting of KMT member Sean Lien was linked to the DPP. One such statement, from KMT legislator Wu Yu-sheng, asked voters to “use your ballots to reject violence,” implying that the DPP was involved in the violence. (Yeh Su-ping, et al., DPP to Sue Four KMT Lawmakers on Charges of Breaking Election Law, FOCUS TAIWAN NEWS CHANNEL (Dec. 12, 2010),
[a Central News Agency report].)

Tsai commented that Wu's statement violated the criminal law on public insult and defamation, as well as election regulations. Speaking on behalf of the KMT, Su Jun-pin said his party's statements after the shooting were a call for calmness and that it had restrained members from speculating on the incident. (Id.) Su added that the “DPP has changed its statements so often that no one knows what its position is regarding the shooting incident,” and went on to claim that the KMT did much more than the opposition to make sure the shooting incident did not have an impact on the election. (Id.)