DPP official suspended over alleged sexual harassment

The China Post staff

A senior Democratic Progressive Party official accused of sexual misconduct was suspended from his post at the instruction of DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh yesterday.

An angry Hsieh said harsh punishment will be made if the accusations prove true, adding that the temporary suspension was made to facilitate further investigation, according to a DPP official.

But Wang Ming-yuan, the head of the DPP’s youth department accused of sexually harassing six college students working as part-timers for his department, called himself a victim of political infighting. He said he was willing to go through a polygraph test, adding that a cassette containing conversations between a DPP worker and the six alleged victims could prove the accusations a set-up by his enemy.

But the six students demanded Wang make an open apology and step down immediately.

If the DPP fails to come up with a satisfactory solution by today, legal actions will be taken against Wang, they said.

One of the students, “Shiao T,” said she could not believe that she had been wiretapped.

Wang was accused of forcibly kissing one of the six students and putting his hands on her legs in his car while voluntarily driving her home after a social gathering.

Hsu Ren-tu, the DPP’s deputy secretary general, called a press conference yesterday morning and quoted Hsieh as reproaching Wang that he should not have gone out with young students even after work.

According to Hsu, the six students, in a joint letter sent to the party’s Secretary General Wu Nai-jen, demanded that Wang be sacked immediately, saying that otherwise they would file a lawsuit.

Hsu did not say where the tape that Wang said could prove his innocence had come from.

The party will handle the issue with utmost caution, and make any evidence gathered transparent. It wouldn’t protect anyone, Hsu said.

The party has acted firmly on accusations related to improper sexual behavior, according to the United Evening News.

Wang’s predecessor Weng Chang-liang joined the accusers, saying Wang has always been leveraging political power irresponsibly against the students.

“The department head is taking advantage of his job to look for casual sexual relations,” said Weng.

“Shiao T” brushed off Wang’s charges that there were political forces working behind the incident.

She added that the issue must be handled by Wu and Hsieh, and should keep Hsu out of the investigation. She blamed Hsu for passing on to beleaguered Wang the other letter they forwarded to the deputy secretary general.

“This is as if a judge is passing proof on to the suspect,” she said.

The six students had sent two letters to the party, one of which did contain some “overly emotional” language, while the other was a plain description of truth, the girl said.

Education Minister Ovid Tzeng said the ministry will handle the alleged harrassment as a special case, and will reprimand the perpetrator seriously if the accusations prove true.

Tzeng made the remarks when asked by a Kuomintang lawmaker about the ministry’s position on the event.