Wed, Jul 25, 2001 - Page 1 News List

Party with ties to Lee picks name

UNVEILED The Taiwan Solidarity Union, a new party intended by the former president to shore up the DPP's legislative fortunes, finally revealed its name and logo yesterday

By Lin Chieh-yu and Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Former interior minister Huang Chu-wen yesterday explains the logo for the nation's newest political party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

PHOTO: CHEN CHENG-CHANG, TAIPEI TIMES

Politicians with close ties to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) announced yesterday the formation of a new political party that hopes to win as many as 40 seats in the year-end legislative elections.

Former interior minister Huang Chu-wen (黃主文) unveiled the party's name, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (台灣團結聯盟), and the party's logo yesterday.

"We've adopted the word solidarity because we believe that it is the most important thing that all Taiwanese currently expect," Huang said during yesterday's press conference.

Huang said the party would attempt to help the DPP bring stability to the legislature and put an end to the struggle between the opposition alliance and the government.

Accompanied by roughly 20 members who will represent the party in the legislative elections, Huang also unveiled the party's logo.

The emblem contains a brown-colored silhouette of Taiwan, symbolizing an earthy native focus. It is enclosed in a circle with a background of different shades of blue, which symbolizes the ocean.

"The logo means that Taiwan is just like the sun rising over the ocean," Huang said.

Lee, the former KMT chairman, has repeatedly criticized his party with being a sore loser after last year's presidential elections, saying the party should not purposely block President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) policies in the legislature.

According to Huang, Lee authorized him to form a new party to contest the year-end election and cooperate with the DPP after the election.

The party will hold a founding ceremony on Aug. 12 and announce a slate of legislative candidates later that day.

Lo Chih-ming (羅志明), a scholar who will stand in Kaohsiung for the new party in the legislative elections, said he estimated that the Taiwan Solidarity Union would capture between 38 and 42 seats in the year-end elections.

Former KMT National Assembly delegate Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), who will also represent the party in the elections, said that they will invite Lee and President Chen to jointly attend the Aug. 12 founding ceremony.

"The Taiwan Solidarity Union will loyally advocate former president Lee's ideals and continue to implement his guidelines, like continuing to maintain the former KMT administration's `no haste, be patient' policy in handling cross-strait investment," Chen said.

The idea that relations between Taiwan and China are "special state-to-state" in nature will also be a part of the party's platform.

While there have been recent threats to have Lee removed from the KMT for his support of the newly formed party, the KMT has thus far hesitated in confronting its former chairman.

Last month, old guard party member Liang Su-yung (梁肅戎) petitioned the KMT to expel Lee, accusing him of mishandling party funds and colluding with the DPP.

Chen Kang-ching (陳庚金), chief of the KMT disciplinary division, recently said "the department will approach the matter according to due process," implying it would not take action. He noted that it was for the party's administrative and management committee to decide whether Lee had indeed misused KMT funds, and for the organization section to determine whether Lee had in any way double-crossed the party.

In several recent interviews, Lee has blamed the 107-year-old party for its increasing drift toward China.

"No rules bar members from criticizing the party," said the KMT official, noting that the practice is rather common even among KMT stalwarts.

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