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Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Lien Chan hopes to see flock come home

KMT Chairman Lien Chan warned yesterday that Taiwan will face a constitutional crisis after the Dec. 1 elections unless President Chen Shui-bian forms a new Cabinet according to the Constitution. Lien told 'Taipei Times' staff reporter Stephanie Low that the KMT was willing to negotiate with the DPP and that he remains confident that the loyalty of the KMT's members will prevent defections


KMT Chairman Lien Chan talks about post-election cooperation.


Taipei Times: President Chen has proposed forming a cross-party alliance for national stabilization. Is it possible for the KMT, as an opposition party, to cooperate with the PFP and the New Party to demand the president abide by the constitutional system?

Lien Chan (連戰): It is still early to talk about this. But what we can be sure of is that Taiwan, after the elections, will face a situation that it has never experienced before.

We don't know yet about the essence of the alliance. Many things can be resolved through devices provided by the constitutional framework. We must respect the negotiation system of democracy.

The constitutional framework is sufficient to cope with the post-election situation in Taiwan. But the president must respect the constitutional system and appoint the premier in an open-minded, unprejudiced way. We need to stabilize Taiwan so as to work to improve the economy.

TT: If the KMT remains the largest party in the legislature and the DPP still refuses to surrender the right to form the Cabinet, what would the KMT's constitutional responsibility be?

Lien: If we don't abide by the Constitution, Taiwan will enter a new constitutional crisis. We hope the president doesn't take this course.

TT: If President Chen proposes to negotiate with the KMT, would you accept the offer?

Lien: I'm afraid we could not avoid negotiation -- and it would be unnecessary for us to avoid it. We must respect the negotiation system of party politics and the majority wish to form an efficient government. We must abandon the path of minority government and abide by the Constitution, as the foundation of a minority government is unstable.

TT: Recruiting individual KMT lawmakers to join a cross-party alliance for national stabilization is a tactic that could be possibly adopted by the DPP after the elections. How would the KMT react to such a development?

Lien: If this were to be true, we can infer the alliance would then be one for localization. This would exacerbate the unification-independence dispute and be unhelpful to Taiwan's stability. Hopefully this isn't what the DPP is planning to do, as it would be a move to split the nation and intensify confrontation along ethnic lines.

After the KMT was defeated in last year's presidential election, it underwent reforms. From zero, party members re-registered their membership, and now we have over 1.08 million members. This shows that the members identify with the party's ideology. Our candidates for lawmakers, who have been selected by a party primary and opinion polls, are our best and most reliable partners.

Having no feeling about the people's suffering, the DPP has resorted to tricks designed to split other parties over this time. This shows that the DPP lacks confidence in itself. It is very pitiful that the ruling party has to maintain its power by poaching on other parties and by recruiting defectors from other parties.

This turns what should be fair play into an unbearable scene. The DPP should compete with other parties on their policies and ideals.

Some people have defamed the KMT as "allying with the Chinese communists against Taiwan" and as being "pro-unification hard-liners" These are unfounded allegations. The KMT insists that cross-strait relations should be developed on the basis of equality and peaceful interaction. Taiwan's future can never be decided by Beijing.

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