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Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Soong cool to suggestion of cooperation with KMT

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday declared a halt to talk of cooperation with the KMT in the elections for local administrators, except the few for whose candidacy he has already pledged support.

For the first time, Soong also roundly rejected calls for him to rejoin the KMT, saying the main opposition party has consistently kept him and PFP candidates at a distance on the campaign trail.

He warned KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) against internal revolt, claiming some KMT officials have met secretly with the ruling DPP in talks where they offered a post-election alliance in exchange for Cabinet posts.

"From start to finish, the KMT has displayed no sincerity in creating a joint front in the polls for county commissioners," Soong said in Penghu County.

"The case is closed. The PFP will try its utmost to win over voters in the run-up to the Dec. 1. elections."

The declaration ended speculation that the PFP might pull out of the commissioner's race in Changhua County in exchange for the KMT withdrawing in Nantou County. Victory for both parties in each county is in jeopardy because of the divisive effect of their both having fielded candidates.

"It is impossible for me to rejoin the KMT, which is only interested in wooing PFP supporters," Soong told reporters. The KMT has unremittingly distanced itself from him and PFP candidates, he added.

Soong was in Penghu stumping for fellow PFP legislative nominee Lu Wen-yi (呂文義) and incumbent commissioner Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉), who is seeking re-election under the KMT banner.

In addition to Lai, the PFP leader said he would not withdraw his support for Chu Li-luan (朱立倫), the KMT candidate for Taoyuan County commissioner. He added he would not stop supporting Wang Chien-shien (王建火宣), who is seeking to wrest Taipei County from DPP control on behalf of the opposition alliance.

Asked whether he would consider sharing the stage with Lien in a joint bid to boost Wang's campaign on the eve of the poll, Soong said, "I wouldn't give it a thought."

He dismissed the proposed merger of his party with the KMT and New Party, saying, "The three-for-one scheme functions more like two-bashing-one in practice."

Vying for the same group of voters, the New Party has targeted the PFP as its main competitor.

KMT head of organization and development Chao Shou-po (趙守博) said it was common for politicians to make emotional statements before elections, but added that the KMT would not abandon possibilities for cross-party cooperation.

But Soong said that, while the KMT has made beating the DPP its top priority, a faction is forming within the KMT that aims to pull the party away from that goal.

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