Fri, Nov 16, 2001 - Page 1 News List

KMT lays out preconditions for an alliance

RULE SETTING The KMT's secretary-general said that before the party would enter talks on post-election cooperation, the DPP must first meet three of its demands

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

With post-election cooperation again becoming a hot topic, KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) yesterday raised what he said were three preconditions for a KMT-DPP coalition.

In addition to asking President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to abide by the constitutional framework -- a semi-presidency -- the KMT wants Chen to respect the majority party's or majority alliance's right to lead the formation of the Cabinet and give the KMT a chance to improve the economy.

"Of course anything is possible after the elections, but if we are to cooperate with the DPP, these three preconditions are a must," Lin said.

Responding to the KMT's demands, DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) urged the KMT to behave in a "modest" manner.

Wu said it is inappropriate to talk about such preconditions since votes have not been cast and the number of seats to be won by each party is still unknown.

"If the KMT [election effort] ends up a debacle, will the KMT still be qualified to set any preconditions?" Wu asked.

Discussion over the possibility of a KMT-DPP coalition after the Dec. 1 legislative elections surfaced again over the past days, after two pro-localization KMT candidates from Taipei -- Legislator Chen Horng-chi (陳鴻基) and Taipei City Council Deputy Chen Hsueh-fen (陳雪芬) -- publicly touted the idea on Monday.

Their suggestion has been interpreted as a move to bring to the surface the struggle over the party line and has fueled reports that some KMT politicians would defect to the DPP after the elections.

While the pair is suspected of being among the potential defectors, some DPP and People First Party (PFP) members have gone so far as to claim that they had a list of names of those ready to jump ship.

Lin yesterday dismissed the reports as the kind of false information spread by rivals in an attempt to split the KMT and boost their showing in the Dec. 1 polls.

"Both the DPP and PFP have been trying to split the KMT, plundering a house when it is on fire. They want to split the KMT to save their shaky campaigns," Lin said.

Lin guaranteed that no KMT members would leave the party after the elections.

On the contrary, a "considerable number" of non-KMT politicians would become the KMT's allies after the elections, Lin said.

He said the "personal opinion" and campaign tactics of the two candidates will be respected, as long as they do not hurt the party.

Chen Horng-chi and Chen Hsueh-fen yesterday dared their accusers to present evidence to back up allegations that the pair would defect to the DPP after the elections.

They said they would quit the legislative races if such evidence was made available.

They stressed the purpose of their bid is to push for party-to-party negotiations between the KMT and DPP to form a strong Cabinet capable of resolving the nation's economic problems.

Meanwhile, New Party heavyweight Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) yesterday raised a completely different proposal from that of the two KMT politicians.

Yok said the KMT, PFP and New Party should negotiate a merger after the elections to ensure the opposition alliance's victory in the 2004 presidential race.

Yok argued that President Chen has been trying to block the formation of an opposition alliance because it would threaten his next presidential bid.

In response, Lin said the format of inter-party cooperation should be discussed after the elections so that a "wise" decision can be made.

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