Sat, Jan 08, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Lee denies suggesting joint ticket

SOVEREIGNTY FIRST:A Japanese magazine reported the former president had proposed the KMT and DPP team up to field candidates for a 2012 presidential bid

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday presidential candidates from opposition forces should stand firm on Taiwan’s sovereignty and denied ever suggesting that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should team up in the presidential election next year.

On his Facebook page, Lee said the opposition parties should choose presidential candidates that will insist on the nation’s sovereignty, strive for the future of the nation and be able to win the battle against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who will seek re-election.

“We need to unite and make Taiwan’s interests the priority in order to abandon Ma, save Taiwan and expand our support base. I was talking about the principles, and not about whether political parties or any politicians should team up for the election,” Lee said.

The former president posted his comments on Facebook a day after Japanese magazine WiLL ran an interview.

In the interview published on Thursday, Lee was quoted as saying that the timing wasn’t ripe for DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to run for president and he suggested that the DPP could choose a vice presidential -candidate to pair up with a KMT presidential candidate.

He was also quoted in the interview as saying that Tsai might risk repeating the mistakes of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and would be unable to carry out policies in a minority government if she ran for president next year.

Lee said yesterday that it did not matter how the presidential and vice presidential candidates are chosen or whether political parties cooperate in the presidential election next year.

“For the battle in 2012, pro--localization forces should unite and take over power with an absolute majority so we can continue reform, promote Taiwan consciousness and pursue Taiwan’s normalization,” he said in the Facebook post.

Commenting on the subject, KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) yesterday said the party would not discuss candidates for the presidential election at this time, because it was focusing its efforts on improving the lives of the public as the ruling party.

“Thinking about the arrangements for the 2012 presidential candidates is against public expectations. The KMT’s priority is to improve people’s lives and strive for economic prosperity,” he said.

DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌), meanwhile, said yesterday that the DPP has its own nomination system for choosing a presidential candidate.

Lin said a meeting has been set for Jan. 22 for the DPP to discuss its nomination mechanism and other matters concerning next year’s presidential campaign.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG

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