Sun, Jun 27, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Lien reiterates plan to form an alliance with PFP

NO RUMOR A merger between the KMT and PFP is the ultimate goal, KMT Chairman Lien Chan says, but an alliance should be formed for the time being

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

In view of rumors that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) had reached consensus to form an alliance with other opposition forces, KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday stressed that a merger between the two parties remains the ultimate goal of his party.

Confirming that he had met with PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) the previous day, Lien yesterday said that forming an alliance had been an idea suggested by "many people."

While stating that "the forming of an alliance could be an idea in the pre-merger phase," Lien stressed that "the merger of the KMT and the PFP remains the premise as well as the goal."

Lien last month proposed a merger plan with the PFP and hinted that the merger could be achieved before the December legislative elections. The plan, however, had met with disapproval from some party members who questioned the wisdom of the timing of such an action.

Chinese-language newspapers yesterday reported that Lien and Soong, in view of the setback to the merger plan, had met for four hours on Friday and reached consensus to put the merger plan on hold, but also to form an alliance in view of the approaching year-end legislative elections.

The report said that the opposition parties wished to combine forces, implement substantial cooperation and jointly nominate a list of legislators-at-large for the December legislative elections.

Saying that "the merger between the KMT and the PFP remains the party's ultimate goal," KMT spokeswoman Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) yesterday added that forming an alliance could be carried out simultaneously with the party's merger plan with the PFP.

"However, since the idea of forming an alliance is in its early stages and not final, the party has neither a substantial timetable nor a plan of attack," Kuo said.

Prior to boarding a flight for an overseas trip on Friday night, Soong said that he had met with Lien over issues relating to the two parties' merger.

"On the basis of cooperation between the KMT and the PFP, we could first of all continue to integrate opposition forces for the year-end legislative elections and other relevant matters and push for a democratic alliance," Soong said.

New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) yesterday expressed his support for the idea of forming a strong opposition alliance.

At a news conference held yesterday, Yok said all opposition forces should integrate to ensure substantial cooperation.

"The progress of a merger takes time, for instance: The steps needed to change a party's name with the Ministry of Interior are time-consuming," Yok said.

"Out of consideration for electoral strategy, I would suggest the KMT, the PFP and the New Party form an alliance," he said.

"By way of forming an alliance and integrating our might, we can demonstrate to one another our sincerity," Yok said, adding that "we welcome independents and members of other alliances who wish to join us."

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