Sun, Oct 15, 2006 - Page 1 News List

KMT, PFP chairmen meet up to discuss strategy to no avail

By Mo Yan-chih and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) met last night to discuss pan-blue strategy, but without reaching agreement after two hours.

The meeting follows a second failed recall motion against the president in the legislature on Friday.

In addition to a PFP plan to topple the Cabinet in the legislature, the meeting also touched on the issue of pan-blue unity in the upcoming Taipei mayoral elections. Soong has indicated he will enter the race and has refused to make any concessions to the KMT on his candidacy.

Soong is expected to announce his intention to run in the election on Tuesday, while KMT mayoral candidate Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) has said he "respects" Soong's decision to compete.

Ma and Soong held two closed-door meetings last December to discuss issues including pan-blue unity and the arms procurement bill, but they failed to reach substantive agreement.

no limits

"There are no limits to what we will discuss during the meeting. We will talk about everything," Ma said earlier yesterday in Kaohsiung while stumping for KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-yin (黃俊英).

The pan-blue camp is divided over whether to initiate a no-confidence vote in the legislature against Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

While Soong had said that his party would propose a no-confidence measure against Su on Friday and "would not stop until the president dismisses the legislature," the KMT has been more prudent.

"We are not afraid of the proposal but we must think about the consequences," said KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆). "It would be a disaster if the premier was voted down and the legislature was dismissed but President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) remained in his position continuing to call the shots."

Tsai said he thought the timing to bring down the Cabinet was inappropriate, just like the timing of the failed second recall motion.

If Chen opted to appoint a new premier rather than dissolving the legislature after Su was driven out of office, Tsai doubted it would please most of Chen's opponents.

unjust election?

If Chen decided to call a snap election, Tsai said he was worried that a poorly thought out redistricting plan would produce an unjust election.

Tsai said that the KMT caucus needed to hold a meeting to address the issue and reach a consensus on the matter.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) yesterday told a press conference that the PFP was not being responsible.

It had not thought ahead about the consequences of a no-confidence motion, Yeh said.

The DPP will suggest that the president dismiss the Legislative Yuan and hold fresh legislative elections if the no-confidence vote passes, said Yeh, but then the legislature and the Executive Yuan may be paralyzed as a result.

She urged lawmakers who had signed their names on the motion to withdraw their support for the proposal.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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