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Wed, Mar 15, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Confident of victory, Lien vows to end `black gold'

REFORM The KMT candidate has unveiled a list of 100 people who he says will help him reform Taiwan's political landscape and put an end to political corruption

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

KMT presidential candidate Lien Chan announces his proposed formation of a third National Affairs Reform Conference in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: SUNG CHIH-HSING, LIBERTY TIMES

KMT presidential candidate Lien Chan (連戰) boldly claimed yesterday that he was on his way to victory in Saturday's election, saying he would subsequently convene a third National Affairs Reform Conference (第三波改革國事會議) in a bid to show his resolution to promote efficiency in Taiwan.

During a press conference held yesterday and apparently designed to show his confidence in the results of the election, Lien also referred to the campaign as a two-horse race -- and that he would beat the DPP's Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the end.

"According to information we have gathered, I have confidence that I will garner about five million votes," Lien said, adding that all feasible policies he proposed would be accepted by voters.

There are estimated to be more than 15 million people eligible to vote nationwide.

Lien said if elected, he would hold a third National Affairs Reform Conference -- and the first since the National Development Conference (國發會) in December 1996 -- to integrate the diverse opinions of the country's elite to promote changes.

"The elite from diverse parties and organizations will be welcome to contribute their opinions on reforming domestic policies at the conference," Lien said, adding that the main issues would include eliminating "black gold" politics, providing opportunities for fairer party competition, as well as reforming the political, judicial and educational systems.

Lien said a task force would be established between March 18, when he would be elected, and his inauguration on May 20, to plan preparatory meetings for the conference.

Lien said that preparatory meetings would be held within three months after May 20.

"Many of the elite in Taiwan have been on my side to accomplish the goal of promoting Taiwan," Lien said, unveiling a list of 100 influential people from the fields of industry, culture, small- and medium-sized enterprises and academia.

Such figures include Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫), chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (海基會), Wang Chung-yu (王鍾渝), company board chairman of China Steel Corp (中鋼), Tsao Hsing-cheng (曹興誠), owner of the United Microelectronics Corp (聯華電子), and several presidents from national universities.

It was believed that Lien's camp meant to use the name list as a response to similar lists recently released by Chen, who claimed that he had gained support from many of the country's most important citizens.

However, some people on the pro-Lien list have already expressed their support for Chen, including Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), vice board chairman of China Motor Corp (中華汽車) and school presidents Tseng Chih-lang (曾志朗) of National Yang Ming University, Cheng Kuo-shun (鄭國順) of National Chung Cheng University and Chang Chun-yen (張俊彥) of National Chao Tung University.

Lien's reason for the existence of the overlapping names was that he "welcomed" people with diverse backgrounds.

"After all, we hope we can draw positive conclusions as we did at the National Development Conference in 1996," Lien said.

A positive result of the conference, led by President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), was to downsize the former Taiwan Provincial Government, a move that was supported by the DPP and the New Party.

None of the 100 people on Lien's list of supporters appeared at the press conference in Taipei.

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