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Fri, Jan 07, 2000 - Page 3 News List

KMT `trust' a political gambit: DPP

REFORM DPP officials suggest that all the talk about party reform is no more than an attempt on the part of Lien Chan to get a firm hold of the KMT's pursestrings

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP officials suggested yesterday that the real motives behind Lien Chan's (3s戰) vow to place the KMT's assets in trust could be a move in an internal party power struggle aimed at diluting the authority of President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

DPP legislature caucus leader Lee Ying-yuan (李???/CHINESE>) said Lien is trying to divert attention from the KMT's use of money politics. To achieve this, he aims to associate the problem with Lee and his followers, and distance himself from the taint of "black gold" politics.

"Lien's campaign platform could act to erode President Lee's power to lead the party after he steps down from the presidency," Lee said.

A spokesman for Lien dismissed the idea, however, saying the DPP has misunderstood the situation. Lu Hsiu-yen (盧秀燕) said that reform was a matter of acting in accordance with the expectations of the people.

"The opposition party should propose its own reform platform, instead of seeming to oppose the KMT's efforts at reform," she said .

Chen Chi-mai (3祠靾?, another DPP legislature caucus leader, pointed out that since last year, Lien's chief advisor, Hsu Li-teh (徐立德), has been at odds with Liu Tai-ying (劉泰-^), the head of the KMT's business empire, over important issues, and that the struggle is a clear sign of a leadership battle between factions supporting Lien and Lee.

On Monday, Liu said that the definition of KMT "assets" should include companies in which the KMT has more than a 50 percent interest. But spokesmen for Lien -- including Jason Hu (-J志強) and Erick Chu (|階??/CHINESE>) -- later gave a different explanation that suggested all assets -- down to the last share certificate -- should be put in trust.

"Members of Lien's faction now want to take over the management of the KMT from those who have been promoted by Lee," Chen said.

The DPP's Chen and Lee pointed out that Hsu Li-teh dominated the KMT's business empire from 1988 to 1993 and that during this period Hsu had brought many close associates into leading roles in KMT businesses.

"But after Liu took over from Hsu in 1993 on Lee Teng-hui's direction, Liu promoted his own men in place of Hsu's," Lee added.

Chen also said that the KMT's business empire has prepared over NT$10 billion to help finance Lien's campaign.

"Lien will use the money, then [after he is elected] prevent other KMT members from controlling the [business] empire," Chen said.

Lu Hsiu-yen said that the KMT's vows to reform are due to a desire to meet the people's expectations. She added that the opposition party is still "living in the past."

"The KMT and the people are looking forward to reform. We appeal to the DPP to catch up with people's expectations," Lu said.

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