《TAIPEI TIMES》 Ma Ying-jeou mulls defamation suit against Chiu
Former Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） legislator Chiu Yi yesterday shows a smartphone displaying friendly messages between him and the party’s presidential candidate, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, to reporters at a news conference in Taipei. Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
By Ann Maxon / Staff reporter
Former president Ma Ying-jeou’s （馬英九） office yesterday said that he is considering a defamation lawsuit against former Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） legislator Chiu Yi （邱毅）, who claimed that he was removed from the party’s list of legislator-at-large nominees because of Ma.
In an interview with Hong-Kong based China Review News Agency published yesterday, Chiu said that he had initially been included in the list due to recommendations by former vice president Lien Chan （連戰）, former KMT legislator Hung Hsiu-chu （洪秀柱）, Deputy Kaohsiung Mayor Yeh Kuang-shih （葉匡時） and retired army general Hsu Li-nung （許歷農）.
However, in a meeting of the KMT’s seven-person review committee, KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan （曾永權）, who led the panel, removed Chiu from the list to make room for former Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen （陳以信） and Taiwan Institute of Zhongyuan Development secretary-general Che Yi-ching （車宜靜）, Chiu said.
Chiu quoted Tseng as saying that Ma had recommended Chen and Che.
He was later reintroduced to the list after he and several party members objected to his removal, he said.
However, he decided to withdraw from contention due to continuous criticism by the Democratic Progressive Party over his pro-China stance, Chiu said, adding: “I do not want to see [KMT Chairman] Wu Den-yih （吳敦義） under fire because of me.”
Chiu’s inclusion in the list was controversial due to his remarks earlier this year that peaceful cross-strait unification would be possible once leading pro-Taiwanese independence advocates are “decapitated,” citing former presidents Lee Teng-hui （李登輝） and Chen Shui-bian （陳水扁）, President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文）, former premier William Lai （賴清德） and Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu （陳菊）.
Ma’s office said in a statement that he had not recommended any nominees, because KMT regulations forbid former chairpersons from doing so.
Tseng has also denied saying at the meeting that Chen and Che were recommended by Ma, it said.
Chiu — who has now been included in the New Party’s list of legislator-at-large nominees — is intentionally trying to cause divisions within the KMT, Ma’s office said.
Ma would consider a lawsuit if Chiu continues to make false claims about him, it said.
The KMT said in a statement that Tseng did not remove Chiu from the list and that Che was not recommended by Ma.
KMT legislator-at-large nominees were selected in a careful, fair and transparent manner, it added.