TAIPEI, Taiwan — The truth behind the Nov. 26 election eve shooting of former Vice President Lien Chan’s son Lien Sheng-wen must be clarified, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday, calling for an independent commission to be set up to probe the matter.
Lien, also known as Sean Lien, a rising star in the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), was shot in the face on the eve of the country’s first five special municipality elections. The shooting is believed by many opposition supporters of costing DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen her chance to win the Xinbei City mayoral seat. “The DPP is not a sore loser. We just want the truth. The public deserves to know the real motive behind the shooting,” said DPP caucus whip Pan Meng-an at a press conference. The proposal for the commission will be pitched during a Dec. 31 DPP Procedural Committee meeting, and the party has not ruled out the option of taking legal recourse to appeal against the election result. According to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act, an appeal against an election result must be made within 30 days of the official result posted by the Central Election Commission. “The DPP can go ahead and sue,” said KMT Legislator Alex Fei, accusing the opposition party of practicing “double standards.”
Fei said that during the DPP era, the government pulled all the stops to boycott a KMT effort to set up an investigation team to unveil the facts on the shooting of former President Chen Shui-bian on the eve of the 2004 presidential election in which he won a second term. George Hsieh, another KMT lawmaker and deputy caucus whip, called on Tsai to stop “manipulating the public.”
“The KMT is very eager, probably even more so than the DPP, to find out the truth, but it seems the DPP is only interested in testing the water to see if the election results can be invalidated,” he said.
Lien was shot while on stage stumping for a KMT candidate in Yonghe, now part of Xinbei City. The bullet passed through his cheek and killed a bystander.
Lien was released from the hospital 10 days after surgery. His speedy recovery prompted many opposition supporters to speculate over whether the shooting was staged.
The shooter was apprehended on the spot and has stuck to his claim that he was targeting the candidate and shot the wrong person.