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Tue, Jul 24, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Lo Fu-chu postpones new party

STRATEGY Independent lawmakers Lo and Chen Chin-ting are waiting and watching the progress of the new political grouping aligned with former president Lee Teng-hui

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

Independent lawmakers Lo Fu-chu (羅福助) and Chen Chin-ting (陳進丁) yesterday said they have decided to put on hold a plan for the establishment of a new political party.

Lo and Chen said the decision was made partly because they think political issues should be downplayed for the time being, when improvement to the economy is what most people seek.

The lawmakers, meanwhile, admitted that they are watching the development of another new political party aligned with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and organized by Huang Chu-wen (黃主文) a former minister of the interior to be registered before the end of the month, whose members might overlap with Lo's planned party members.

Lo, who had previously expressed an intention to leave his constituency in Taipei County to run in Taipei City, said he has not made a final decision as to whether to seek re-election.

"I'm now taking a wait-and-see attitude. As economic conditions are worsening, working to save the economy should come before politics," Lo said.

Lo and Chen originally planned to established their party later this month.

Expected members of the party are all from the National Non-Party League (無黨籍聯盟), a caucus consisting of six independent legislators.

In addition to Lo and Chen, the other four are Tsai Hau (蔡豪), Wu Tzer-yuan (伍澤元), Walis-Pelin (瓦歷斯*貝林) and Chen Chao-ming (陳超明).

The organization of the new party has been going on for months, and KMT legislator and business tycoon Gary Wang (王令麟) has reportedly planned to work with the League to organize the new party.

Wang, however, announced in June that he would not seek re-election and denied plans to join any new political party. The new party's reputation as a union of "black-gold" politicians is believed to be a reason for Wang's withdrawal.

While organizers of the new party said that they would continue their plans despite Wang's decision, the work is taking place in a more low-profile manner than before.

Chen Chin-ting yesterday said that the new party will definitely be founded, but the date of its establishment might be postponed until the next legislative session reopens in September.

Chen said lawmakers from the league, making use of the time during which the legislature is adjourned, are too busy with the year-end legislative election campaigns to meet and finalize their work.

Chen said that the preparatory work for the party's organization has been completed, and a total of 27 politicians, including a number of former deputies to the National Assembly and Taiwan Provincial Assembly, are potential members of the party and will represent it when running in the year-end elections.

None of the 27 have thus far expressed any intention of joining Huang's party.

Many politicians have reportedly been in contact with both of the new party groupings and are comparing the campaign funds offered by the two.

Campaign costs can range from NT$10 million to NT$100 million per candidate.

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