‘Spiritual leader,’ legislator

The China Post staff

The self-proclaimed spiritual leader of one of Taiwan’s biggest gangs, Legislator Luo Fu-chu, will set up a political party eying 25 legislative seats in the year-end polls, a local newspaper reported yesterday. The party will gather a few dozen independent politicians as controversial as Luo himself — including former National Assembly Speaker Su Nan-cheng and Legislator Wu Jzer-yuan, the China Times Express said. Incumbent KMT Legislator Gary Wang, head of Eastern Multimedia Group, will also defect to the new party, which may be named “All People’s Justice Alliance,” or “Justice Party,” the paper said.

Luo, who has admitted to being the spiritual leader of the Heavenly Way Gang, but has denied being its actual boss, was also quoted as claiming that a few professors and four Democratic Progressive Party members will also join the ranks. He said the party will be inaugurated next month, planning to field about 50 candidates in the year-end elections for legislators and local administrators. He hopes to grab 15 to 25 legislative seats. The birth of the new group was originally scheduled for March or April, but a delay was called for after Luo sparked public outrage by beating New Party Legislator Diane Lee during a legislative meeting. Meanwhile, Luo launched a media campaign yesterday in an apparent warm up for his own reelection bid and the new party’s establishment. In a half page ad in yesterday’s evening papers, Luo’s picture and President Chen Shui-bian’s are juxtaposed, with the legislator telling the president to seek his advise on how to rule the country. He also puts forth a 10-point policy package to reform the tax system, streamline the bureaucracy, increase employment, and stop check-book diplomacy.

Luo was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying that it is time the government rolled up the sleeves and get down to work, instead of provoking ideological battles. He said the politicians in Taiwan know what the problems are, but their hands are tied by their own parties. A six-month ban from the Legislature has been imposed on Luo since he hit Diane Lee earlier this year. Originally from Taipei County, Luo has chosen to challenge Lee in her constituency, the Taipei City South, in the year-end elections.