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Wed, Jun 13, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Gary Wang clarifies political plans

FOR THE RECORD The KMT lawmaker and business leader says speculation that he is involved in a new political group, or that he will run in the year-end elections, is false

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

Business tycoon and KMT legislator Gary Wang (王令麟) yesterday announced that he will not run in the year-end elections or accept any political group's invitation to become a legislator at large.

It had previously been widely reported that, following his disqualification to run for the KMT because of pending fraud charges, Wang was to be a key member of a new political group that plans to play a high-profile role in the year-end legislative elections.

In a written statement, the three-term legislator admitted that a lot of his friends, including those from the political arena, have tried to persuade him to seek re-election.

"However, these contacts were limited to private chats and exchanges of opinion. I have not asked for any position or made any commitment, and I have not made any decision to run in the elections," Wang said.

Wang said recent speculation concerning his political career planning have been troubling him, which prompted him to make the public announcement yesterday.

"I won't run in any geographic legislative constituency at year end, and I decline, with thanks, arrangements offered from any sides to nominate me as a legislator at large," Wang said.

"I will invest more time and effort in -- and concentrate myself on -- running the media business, and do the best I can to do my part in the bid to revive Taiwan's commercial and industrial sectors," he added.

Wang is chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce of the ROC (中華民國全國商業總會) and vice chairman of the Rebar Group (力霸東森企業集團), a major investor in the real estate, cable TV and fixed-line telecommunication industries.

Wang, currently a legislator at-large representing the KMT, has been disqualified by the party from nomination as an at-large legislator for the next term, because of his alleged involvement in a series of land fraud deals concerning the state-run Taiwan Development and Trust Corp (TDTC, 台開).

Wang was indicted by the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office in January over the case.

Over the past few months, there have been reports claiming Wang was organizing a new political group together with some sitting independent lawmakers. It was also rumored that Wang was going to be nominated for an at-large seat representing the group because of his financial backing of the group.

The at-large seats are allocated to political parties or groups that are able to garner at least 5 percent of the vote in the legislative elections. Their vote shares decide how many at-large seats they qualify for.

The political group in question is expected to be founded in July and may be named the "Taiwan Justice Alliance," with members including Tsai Hau (蔡豪), Lo Fu-chu (羅福助), Chen Chin-ting (陳進丁) and Wu Tze-yuan (伍澤元). Chen yesterday said Wang's decision to quit will not affect their plan to form the group.

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