Tue, Feb 25, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Lien-Soong ticket details to be finalized by April

PROMISES The plan for the KMT and PFP to share power is not a splitting of the spoils of office or a return to `black gold' politics, says James Soong

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Details of the pan-blue joint presidential election campaign lineup featuring KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) will be made public by the end of next month, KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) said yesterday.

"The KMT will complete its party-nomination process by the end of March," Lin said, adding that the PFP was expected to complete its internal party nomination procedure around that time as well.

Lin made the comments at a forum held by the KMT to discuss legislative issues that the party wishes to push during the new legislative session.

Earlier this month, Lien and Soong signed a memorandum of understanding on the formation of an KMT-PFP alliance and agreed to run together on a joint ticket in next year's presidential election.

Although both parties had said that the Lien-Soong ticket is not definite as it awaits approval from the parties through their respective party-nomination processes, it is generally thought that these procedures are mere formalities.

According to Lin, the KMT is expected during the party's routine weekly Central Standing Committee meeting tomorrow to pass an amendment to its internal regulations that will allow its presidential nominee to pair with a non-KMT member.

"The subsequent party nomination process will pick up from there," Lin said, adding that it was possible that the party would skip its primary if it turned out that, during the procedural nomination process, only one person has registered to run for next year's presidential election.

According to KMT rules, once the presidential candidate is formalized, the candidate must then nominate his running mate and have the pairing affirmed by the party's Central Standing Committee before it is forwarded to the national party congress for its approval of the ticket.

At the forum, Lien stressed that the alliance is mainly aimed at upgrading the quality of the nation's democracy and its national competitiveness and not of divvying up the spoils of office as the DPP and many independent political observers have suggested.

Echoing Lien's remarks, Soong, at a separate event, said that the inter-party cooperation was one way to effectively stabilize the nation's political development.

The KMT-PFP cooperation has "Eight Nos and Two Yeses," said Soong at the PFP's legislative caucus meeting, held in Miaoli.

"The inter-party cooperation is not a return to `black-gold' politics nor is it old-men politics, closed-door politics or a zero-sum game," he said.

"It is also not a divvying up of spoils of offices nor lack of pragmatism," he said.

Soong also tried to reassure PFP members that the party would not evaporate as a result of its partnership with the KMT nor, he said,would the partnership betray Taiwan's interest.

"The partnership will be, however, be an effective campaigning and administrative team that's a result of `one plus one equals two,'" Soong said gnomically. "And it will faithfully carry out tasks that further Taiwan's vision and development."

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