Tue, Nov 21, 2006 - Page 1 News List

KMT denies talk of Lien Chan running in 2008 poll

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday denied that any party members have been planning on pushing Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) aside to back former chairman Lien Chan (連戰) for a third run for the presidency in 2008.

KMT spokesman Huang Yu-chen (黃玉振) dismissed a report by the United Daily News yesterday which said some business leaders and KMT legislators proposed two plans to Lien to "eliminate Ma" during private gatherings a week ago.

TWO SCENARIOS

According to the newspaper report, plan A would be for Lien and Ma to pair up for the presidential election. The KMT would then push a constitutional amendment and change the governmental system to a parliamentary one so that the main authority would be the premier.

As part of that supposed plan, the prime candidate for the post of premier would be Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

Plan B would pair Lien and Wang for the presidential ticket, with Ma becoming premier once the KMT returned to power.

Huang said he he had not heard of such plans and urged KMT members to stick together during the current crisis, referring to Ma's alleged involvement in the misuse of the Taipei mayor's special allowance fund.

The spokesman said that anyone who wishes to become the party's nominee for the presidential election should compete fairly for the opportunity and that anyone who would like to back a candidate should fight for people's support through the "system."

SPECULATION

Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), director of KMT's policy department, said he had not heard of any KMT legislators that preferred Lien and Wang for the 2008 race.

Tseng also said that it was not true that any business leaders had teamed up to help eliminate Ma.

Wang, meanwhile, rejected the report as simple media speculation.

"Don't trust these [reports]," Wang said. "I know many people in business circles, but I've never heard of them speak of such plans."

As to whether Lien would run for presidency in 2008, Wang said Lien did not discuss this with him and he could not speak for Lien.

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