Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Wang-Chung ticket set to secure speakers' posts

MORE OF THE SAME With both coalitions warning of retribution if their members do not back their candidates, the race for legislative speaker seems unlikely to surprise

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, right, lobbies for votes for his re-election as legislative speaker yesterday. PFP legislator-at-large and deputy speaker nominee Chung Jung-chi accompanies him.

PHOTO: CHOU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Amid vote-buying accusations from the pan-blue camp, the legislature meets today to elect a new legislative speaker and deputy speaker.

The opposition alliance of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), People First Party (PFP) and the New Party yesterday vowed to impose disciplinary measures on party members who do not support incumbent Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and PFP Legislator Chung Jung-chi (鍾榮吉) as his deputy.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday confirmed its support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate, Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).

Ker will name his running mate today.

The Non-Partisan Solidarity Union yesterday said it would support the Wang-Chung ticket. TSU caucus whip Huang Tsung-yuan (黃宗源) said that while his party would not nominate its own candidates, it would throw its backing behind Ker for speaker. It will decide whether to support Ker's running mate today.

"The TSU's 12 lawmakers will cast their votes for Ker. Those refusing to toe the party line will receive the most severe punishment," Huang told reporters after a caucus meeting.

Citing media reports, KMT Chairman Lien Chan queried whether the DPP had been involved in vote-buying.

Rumors have circulated that the DPP offered bribes to opposition lawmakers to support the DPP ticket. KMT Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) said that if the rumor proved to be true, it only meant that the DPP was aware that it was losing its battle.

Lee said his colleagues had heard that the DPP was attempting to bribe opposition lawmakers in order to secure an election victory for Ker, but he provided no evidence to back the allegations.

PFP Legislator Shen Chih-huei (沈智慧), who had expressed interest in running for deputy speaker and was rumored to be preparing to defy her party, yesterday visited Wang and Chung in a show of support.

"I'm afraid that if I don't come out now to show my support for them, the public will misunderstand me," she said. "It's clear enough who I'll vote for, since I'm here today."

New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) yesterday said that his party would support the KMT and PFP candidates.

"We don't have problems of discipline. All four of our lawmakers will join the KMT caucus and pave the way for a future merger of the KMT, the PFP and the New Party," he said at a press conference.

Except for Wu Cheng-tien (吳成典), who will remain a New Party lawmaker, Yok said that Joanna Lei (雷倩), Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) and Alex Fei (費鴻泰) will enjoy dual membership of the New Party and the KMT.

Also see story:

Soong, Lien join ranks for speaker election; warn DPP

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