Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Chen to visit opposition if pan-greens win a majority

CAMPAIGN TALK The president said that he would pay visits to pan-blue officials to consult with them. He also mentioned a post-poll tea for local government leaders

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER IN TAOYUAN COUNTY

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday said that once the pan-green camp wins a majority in the new legislature he would visit opposition party leaders.

"I will pay a visit to all opposition party leaders after the Dec. 11 elections and consult with them on various matters, such as constitutional reforms," Chen said at a campaign stop last night in Tao-yuan County, which is known for its large numbers of Hakka residents.

To mend the conflict between the central and local governments, Chen said that he would take the initiative to invite all local offi-cials, included those of the pan-blue camp, to the Presidential Office for tea after next Saturday's elections.

Chen reiterated his determination to push for a constitutional reform, to hold a referendum on a new constitution in 2006 and to have the new constitution implemented in 2008.

Winning a pan-green majority in the next legislature would boost the chances of reopening cross-strait negotiations, Chen said.

He said this would provide an opportunity for the two sides to seek and adopt concrete measures to reduce tensions across the Taiwan Strait, such as the establishment of code of conduct across the Strait and a military buffer zone to separate both sides' military activities.

Democratic reforms and economic development will also be among the task he will work with the new legislature to achieve, he said.

Telling the crowd that he knew not all the DPP supporters in Taoyuan County had been planning to support the party's candidates there, Chen urged voters to transform their moral support into action to ensure that all seven DPP candidates in the county are elected.

Among the other political heavyweights who took the stage last night to root for the seven DPP candidates were Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Hakka Council Affairs Chairman Lou Wen-jia (羅文嘉).

In other developments, the DPP announced earlier yesterday that the president will join the pan-green camp's parade in Taipei tomorrow in spite of the approach of Typhoon Nanmadol, which is expected to bring torrential rains over the next few days

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said that come rain or shine, Chen would take part in the parade and will join former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) at a rally in Kaohsiung that night as scheduled.

An estimated 100,000 supporters living in the north and center of the country are expected to join the parade, which will begin from Taipei's old Sungshan Tobacco Factory.

The DPP's four campaign man-agers -- party Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Yu and Hsieh -- will lead the parade.

Lu be at the starting point to announce the start of the parade, Lee said, and Chen will join the marchers before they arrive at Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

More marchers will be seen on Taipei streets on Sunday as pro-independence groups and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) are scheduled to hold a parade to promote the campaign for a new constitution and to rectify the country's official name.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has also organized a large-scale march in Taipei on Sunday to boost is legislative campaign.

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