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Wed, Dec 20, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh plays down opposition talk

TACTICS The DPP chairman brushed off comments that former chairman Shih Ming-teh might change sides, saying the opposition was just trying to send a message

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The ruling DPP yesterday appeared to view opposition parties' moves to either found a new political party or seek inter-party cooperation, as political strategies that are unlikely to be put into action.

"It's more likely that they are trying to deliver a political messages rather than actually planning to act on [their pronouncements]," DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

Hsieh was responding to former KMT business czar Liu Tai-ying's (劉泰英) idea of organizing a "mainstream" party and People First Party Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) remarks that he would welcome former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) to the PFP.

Hsieh stressed the importance of political credibility to win the trust of the people and enhancing the development of a political party. Meanwhile, Shih yesterday, as scheduled, had a dinner banquet with PFP legislators including Liu Sung-pan (劉松藩) to discuss possible inter-party cooperation. Soong and former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), however, did not attend the so-called "Chairmen's meeting (主席會)" banquet last night, but Soong said that, "There has to be a certain type of reorganization among political parties."

"Reorganizing doesn't mean denying the present state of political parties. We have to realize, however, the political reality and gather all those who share the same ideals as a force to stabilize the present political chaos," Soong said during an interview with local news channel TVBS, adding that the formation of a new political entity was not about power-sharing or power-bribes.

Liu, after the banquet, said that he had not discussed with Shih the possibility of his joining the party, saying,"It is still too early to say." But he did say that they exchanged views on various issues including economic and cultural problems.

"For the sake of political stability and economic solutions, we will work together," Liu said, adding that the atmosphere was harmonious.

Expressing his gratitude, Shih said that he believed that "no parties [including the PFP] in Taiwan would sell out Taiwan" and hoped that the government could enjoy better interaction with opposition parties. Shih said that he had asked Liu and the PFP to take part in a project, which pays tribute to those who had dedicated their lives to Taiwan. "The aim is to reinforce the concept of great reconciliation (大和解) in politics and other areas, such as culture," Shih said, adding that he believed the DPP's younger generation would perform better than his own.

DPP legislative whip Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) said Shih would not be joining the PFP. "Can Shih accept the PFP's pro-unification stance? I don't think so," Hsu Tain-tsair told reporters at the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning.

Director of the DPP's department of organizational development Liu I-te (劉一德), moreover, said that the exodus of Shih and Hsu would not have too much impact on or cause immediate damage to the party.

"The best example is Hsu's case. Hsu used to have strong connections within the party. But when he decided to run as an independent presidential candidate, he gained fewer votes than expected," Liu I-te said during a radio interview yesterday morning, adding that the DPP still hoped Shih's faction could remain as DPP members.

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