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DPP challenges Ma administration over alleged surveillance of Tsai

2011/12/30 21:01:16

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Friday asked the nation's judicial authority to conduct an investigation on what it alleged was government surveillance of its presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen.

"The party wants to ask President Ma Ying-jeou if the National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB) have monitored the presidential candidates,"DPP spokesman Chen Chi-mai said, noting that Ma, as the president, is the NSC chairman according to the Organic Act of the council.

Chen said that the party would call on Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming in the afternoon to request an investigation into the matter.

In the Legislature, meanwhile, DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang said Friday the NSC's alleged direction of the MJIB to monitor Tsai was an act that violated the Constitution and the law, and he called for Huang to seize relevant information immediately.

In response, ruling Kuomintang Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu said the DPP's allegation was "groundless"and wondered if the party was suffering from "persecution mania."

Following a report by Next Magazine that the bureau requested its agents collect campaign information about Tsai for the reference of NSC Secretary-General Hu Wei-chen, Tsai asked if the state apparatus was involved in the runup to the Jan. 14 election.

If it is, she said, the situation will be"even more serious thanthe Watergate scandal."

She cited a visit to Taichung City Councilman Lai Yi-huang Wednesday as an example of the alleged government survelliance. She said that she decided to call on Lai at a certain time that afternoon, but discovered later that Premier Wu Den-yih had paid Lai a visit two hours before her.

"If the Ma administration did not have information about my visit, how could it have arranged such a quick visit before mine? Tsai asked.

The Presidential Office dismissed the allegation Thursday night, saying that if any of the intelligence units is found to have engaged in illegal wiretapping,"they will be dealt with severely and the chiefs replaced."

Presidential spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi said that President Ma has never asked the MJIB to provide the itinerary of the opposition party or monitor its activities.

In addition, the NSC stressed Thursday that the bureau was responsible for the protection of presidential candidates only.

In Taichung, the non-partisan Councilman Lai on Thursday that his meeting with Premier Wu had been arranged at an earlier time than the one with Tsai.

On Friday, Lai reiterated that he had been happy that both Wu and Tsai had called on him, but Tsai's allegation of surveillance had surprised him.

Lai said that he had agreed to the visits of both because he wanted to express to them his views on the difficulty of local development. He insisted that he did not want to take sides then and he certainly would not take sides now.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Justin Su, Lin Sheng-hsu, Chen Ching-ping and
Lilian Wu)
Enditem/npw