TAIPEI, Taiwan - Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential front-runner Tsai Ing-wen has demanded that the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) stop what she says are its attempts at "smearing her campaign" with its allegations about land speculation on Saturday, saying it has overstepped legal boundaries. DPP spokesman Wang Min-sheng questioned the validity of documents produced by KMT Legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan and produced three official documents from local government land and development offices.
Calling it a smear campaign tactic, Wang denied the KMT's accusation, saying that the plot of land that Tsai owned was No. 380, and not the No. 365 plot as KMT lawmaker Tsai had claimed, the Chinese language United Evening News reported.
Wang stated that the DPP chairwoman and presidential candidate had owned 15 plots of land in 1988 jointly with 14 other people. When the boundaries of properties No. 380, No. 366 and No. 365 were redrawn in 1995, Tsai and five other people jointly owned the No. 380 property after the plots were reassigned, according to the Central News Agency.
"No. 365 is currently owned by a person surnamed Chen," the DPP stated, according to local media. The DPP also denied KMT claims that Tsai earned a profit of 2.8 times the property's value due to property speculation, saying that Tsai only earned 1.4 times the amount, an amount that land property experts say is a standard return on investment.
The KMT had claimed that the property sold by the DPP presidential candidate 1997 was marked the reassigned No. 380, "not No. 365."
KMT lawmaker Tsai and former Legislator Chiu Yi revealed property deeds at a earlier press conference that showed that the No. 365 plot was the same as the No. 380 plot of land after the plots were merged, local media reported.
"No. 365 was the plot of land that Tsai had engaged in property speculation with," the current and former KMT caucus party members alleged.
According to Tsai and Chiu from the KMT, the property deeds that they provided show how Tsai had reported 15 items of property to the Control Yuan in 1995, and 1996, which were the same as the properties mentioned on the 0365-0000 property deed before reassignment.
The KMT claimed that the deed contained a line of text that showed how the piece of land was "created from a merger of lands No. 366, 367, 368 and 380," saying it was proof of Tsai's alleged land speculation.
Chiu has demanded that Tsai Ing-wen make her property contacts and tax bills public.
Out of Bounds: DPP
"Enough is enough," the DPP presidential candidate said in response to what she characterized as smear tactics made by the KMT regarding land speculation.
"Many of the claims made now have also crossed legal boundaries," Tsai stated, reaffirming her innocence and saying that the evidence had proven the KMT's claims to be fake.
Tsai stated that the KMT had won previous presidential elections on the back of their smear strategies. "This time around, voters will not be tricked again. The KMT should not underestimate the people's will for change."