Sun, Feb 06, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Patient Hsieh `insincere,' KMT says

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday said he would wait until after the Lunar New Year for a response from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) to his offer for the vice premier's post, but the KMT called Hsieh "insincere."

Hsieh also said he would not consult with alternative candidates for the post until after the Lunar New Year.

He hinted that he would not name a vice premier before Feb. 17, when Cabinet Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) is expected to meet KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) to prepare a meeting between Hsieh and KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

"I hope that Chairman Lien can think about the matter when he's abroad, and perhaps he will change his mind. Meanwhile, I'll be waiting and I won't consult any other possible candidates during the Lunar New Year holidays," Hsieh said. "If the KMT agrees [after the holidays], then secretaries-general Lee and Lin can arrange a time for me to meet and thank Chairman Lien."

Hsieh said he was sincere about his offer, but could not make any promises regarding KMT conditions placed on the appointment.

The KMT yesterday rejected Hsieh's claim of sincerity and said he was not serious about reconciliation with the opposition.

"If the DPP administration genuinely considers Chiang to be a talent, it should be willing to accept any conditions. If it is entirely unwilling to discuss the conditions offered by the KMT, it only proves that Hsieh does not really care about reconciliation," Lin said.

Lin said that if the DPP no longer wanted Chiang in the Cabinet, then "so be it."

Lin also said that when Hsieh first asked Chiang through an intermediary if he was interested in the post, Chiang refused on the spot. He said that Lien then suggested that Chiang first try to get more information on the details of the offer before arriving at a final decision.

KMT spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文) also criticized Hsieh for being "insincere."

"The KMT still insists that the appointment of the vice premiership should be discussed on a party-to-party basis. Hsieh's refusal to consider KMT conditions on the grounds that they were not something that could be dealt with by a premier shows him to be insincere," Cheng said.

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