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Sat, Aug 18, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Lien is open to Soong meeting

PARSING HIS WORDS The KMT chairman said that he is ready to meet his PFP counterpart to discuss the opposition alliance `at any time that is appropriate'

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday said through an aide that he is more than willing to meet with PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).

On Thursday, after the PFP mediator for party cooperation quit, Soong said he would meet with Lien to make a last-ditch effort to try to save shaky KMT-PFP plans to cooperate in the year-end elections.

Lien said through an aide that he and Soong have met frequently -- once every couple of weeks -- since the opposition alliance was formed.

"He is willing to meet [with James Soong] any time that is appropriate," the aide said. The KMT chairman failed to respond to numerous questions from reporters.

KMT spokesman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) said all parties in the opposition alliance remain in earnest about sitting down to discuss plans for the year-end elections.

Originally, the KMT and PFP proposed jointly supporting a single joint candidate in the commissioner's races in six counties. So far, they've failed to agree on a single joint candidate.

Politicians at the local level, especially those from the KMT, object to the arrangement because it denies them the chance to run for public office.

With no PFP candidate winning KMT backing, PFP officials have publicly blamed the KMT for not working hard enough to coordinate with them.

Both parties nominated their own candidates for Taitung and Taipei Counties, and the KMT is ready to nominate its own candidate in Kaohsiung County, too.

PFP lawmaker Chung Shao-ho (鍾紹和), the party's nominee for Kaohsiung County commissioner, yesterday said that although he has reached an agreement with KMT's Huang Pa-yeh (黃八野) for Huang to run on his ticket as his deputy, the KMT leadership has so far not responded to the plan.

However, another KMT aspirant, Wu Kuang-hsun (吳光訓), insists on being a candidate in the race.

Highlighting the confusion, Chao Shou-po (趙守博), director-general of the KMT's organization and development committee, said he had not heard of the agreement that Chung is putting forward.

Chao said in the name of cooperation, the KMT plans to nominate Huang for Kaohsiung County commissioner, while asking the PFP's Chung to serve as his deputy.

If that plan fails to materialize, Chao says the KMT will nominate Wu and have Huang serve as deputy.

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