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Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh says DPP will cooperate

DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh in an interview with the 'Liberty Times' said that the ruling DPP may form an alliance with individuals or factions who split from the opposition KMT after the Dec. 1 elections. Below is the content of that interview

Liberty Times: On Wednesday, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) proposed the creation of a "cross-party alliance for national stability" (跨黨派國家安定聯盟) after the elections. How will the ruling DPP cooperate with the opposition parties?

Frank Hsieh (謝長廷): To stabilize Taiwan's political scene, the DPP will make party-to-party cooperation its priority after the elections. The DPP is willing to work with any of the opposition parties. Cooperation, however, between the DPP and KMT does have its difficulties. Although the KMT is now the majority party in the legislature, the party itself is unstable, with various internal factions which greatly contradict each other. They represent two different lines inside the KMT -- the "dove faction" and the "hawk faction."

Although it is difficult for us to ally with the KMT, the possibility still exists. The KMT may split again if it reunites with the New Party after the elections. Reuniting with the New Party, nevertheless, equals accepting Beijing's "one country, two systems" (一國兩制). As a result, some KMT members may leave the party -- since the party will be essentially different than in the past. In that case, the DPP may cooperate with individuals or factions split from the KMT. But we do not rule out the possibility of working with other political parties.

According to our observations, the KMT's strategy is to combine with the New Party and weaken the PFP while it constantly pushes the PFP to openly declare that it will not form an alliance with the DPP. If this plan were to work, the KMT would be thrilled. It would be the "only one," and the PFP would be left with no way out. The PFP should strive to create space for itself.

I predicted in the past that Taiwan would move toward a political system with two major political parties, and developments have unfolded more or less along these lines. The PFP now faces pressure from the KMT to take a stand, but after taking a stand, there is nowhere for them to go. The New Party will necessarily return to the fold of the KMT. As for a "pan-blue" camp in which the KMT, PFP, and New Party all come together, this will be difficult either before or after the elections.

LT: If the post-election political scene is split between two major parties, will the issue that divides them be reunification versus independence?

Hsieh: If the electoral system develops toward having a single representative for each electoral district, then having two major political parties is inevitable. What divides them, however, will depend on how one approaches the problem. If one's approach is from the perspective of stabilizing the political scene and reforming the legislature, then the unification versus independence debate won't be central. But basically, they should divide into two camps along the lines of maintaining the status quo and versus changing it. To maintain the status quo is to strengthen the case for a sovereign nation. Today's mainstream public opinion probably tends toward this side.

LT: How many seats are needed to form the cross-party alliance?

Hsieh: The Presidential Office, the Legislative Yuan and the DPP have reached a consensus that 120 seats or more, 122 to be precise, is the goal.

The process of forming the alliance will definitely be transparent and institutionalized. We will also follow international examples to shape the alliance, such as signing written agreements and reaching a basic consensus. Right now the alignment among opposition parties is only designed to give the ruling party a hard time.

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