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Tue, Jun 19, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan alliance starting drivefor membership

LEGISLATIVE POLITICS Though two DPP members will join a group loyal to former president Lee Teng-hui and supportive of the DPP, the independent legislator Jao Yung-ching says he won't be joining

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A pro-Taiwan alliance has begun its drive to recruit politicians loyal to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and supportive President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), with an eye toward winning control of the legislature in the year-end elections.

"The alliance's goal is electoral victory," said Huang Chu-wen (黃主文), a Lee loyalist and former minister of the interior. Huang added that a list of the group's members would be made public in July.

Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), a KMT National Assembly member, said on Sunday that the alliance has contacted roughly 30 politicians -- including the DPP's Liu I-te (劉一德) and Ho Min-hao (何敏豪), the People First Party's Chiu Chuang-liang (邱創良) and independent legislator Jao Yung-ching (趙永清).

Liu and Ho said they were still thinking over wether to join the group, adding that their decision would be based on the "DPP's understanding or unspoken consent." Both Liu and Ho had plans to run for public office, but failed to win their party's support in the DPP's primary in April. Liu said the alliance's prospects looked bright, and that "a total of some five or six million votes could be secured if Lee and Chen join forces."

Liu made the estimate based on the 5.5 million votes Lee won in the 1996 presidential election and the 2.2 million votes that went to the DPP's candidate, Peng Min-min (彭明敏). Liu said that as long as his campaign doesn't have a negative effect on other DPP candidates in the elections, his party was likely to support his participation in the alliance.

Liu also said yesterday that the alliance's electoral strategy would be to nominate just one candidate in each constituency and to focus on winning 35 seats, including legislator-at-large.

Ho, meanwhile, said that joining an alliance close to Lee would allow him to attract former DPP supporters and would provide him a second chance to run for public office.

"The alliance has made it very clear that they will support A-bian and forge a strong political force, with some 35 legislative seats to assist the DPP government. That explains my leaving the DPP," Ho said. Echoing Ho's view, DPP legislative whip Lin Feng-hsi (林豐喜) said yesterday that "the alliance was likely to join hand in hand with the DPP after the elections." Lin added that an inter-party reorganization would likely occur after the elections, and that the DPP would form a coalition government with the alliance.

"It is also possible that these two will merge as a new political party," he said.

Independent legislator Jao yesterday flatly declined the alliance's invitation to join the group, saying that "he has no intentions of joining any alliance which was likely to provoke ideological and ethnic confrontation."

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