Sat, Sep 23, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Premier denies plans to replace him

ALLUSIONS Wang Jin-pyng described as `funny' a newspaper report that the political deadlock could be resolved by making him the premier of a coalition government

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday that he would not let himself be influenced by a rumor that plans are afoot to end the campaign to oust the president by having Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) replace him as premier.

Alluding to a phrase from the ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu (老子) in the Tao Te Ching (道德經), "Governing a large country is like frying small fish. Too much poking spoils the meat," Su said that he would continue to exert himself in activities that are beneficial to the country and the public.

"For me, being a premier is just like being a farmer. No matter what the weather's like, I have to keep working hard," Su said to People First Party (PFP) Legislator Cheng Chin-ling (鄭金玲) at a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Yuan.

The Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday reported that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) had said that a coalition government formed by Wang and with legislative backing from the DPP, PFP, Non-Partisan Solidarity Union and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would be the best choice to resolve the current political deadlock.

Wang yesterday downplayed the report when approached for comment by reporters yesterday.

"There is a new story every day, and it seems pretty funny to me," Wang said. "I didn't hear [what Lin said], but it's normal that we have different opinions, because people see things from different angles."

Meanwhile, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) yesterday told a press conference that Lin's remarks did not reflect the party's stance.

"What Lin said was just his personal opinion," Tsai said.

"The DPP thinks that it's not the right time to replace the premier, and the party would not approve of relinquishing the right to form the Cabinet," Tsai added.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) meanwhile said that the DPP had created the speculation about a possible change in the political system as a ruse to shift the focus from attempts to oust President Chen hui-bian (陳水扁).

"What's the point of talking about political systems now? The country's current system is not a parliamentary system, so any discussion about the system is meaningless," Ma said yesterday.

"It's just some groundless rumors. I don't think we should be too serious about it," he said.

While declining to comment on whether or not Wang was the best candidate to form a coalition government to break the current political stalemate in the country, Ma said that changes in the political system could not be decided through "closed-door negotiations among a few people," and repeated his opposition to constitutional amendments at this time.

"Amending the Constitution before even having had a chance to implement it is not cherishing our Constitution," he added.

KMT Spokesman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) also accused the DPP of spreading the rumor about Wang forming a coalition government, and urged the DPP to clarify the matter.

"Who should form the Cabinet is not the point. It will not solve the problem of President Chen's corruption," Huang said.

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