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Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Lee says plans for opposition alliance are doomed to fail

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN ILAN COUNTY

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) expressed his disapproval over a cooperation proposal put forward by a New Party legislative candidate, comparing the opposition parties to "water and oil."

The former KMT chairman said that political standing cannot be divided by colors and that what's more important are parties' central ideas.

Lee suggested any coalition forged by the opposition parties would be difficult to maintain.

"It is not appropriate to say things like [the KMT, New Party and People's First Party will cooperate] because politics cannot be distinguished by [party] colors -- it is the core beliefs that matter," Lee said.

The former president made the remarks while answering questions posed by the media on a train to Ilan, where he campaigned for TSU candidate Lin Yi-min (林逸民).

"[The three parties] are like water and oil -- the substances cannot be mixed."

New Party legislative candidate Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) earlier proposed formulating a "pan-blue" alliance after the elections to compete against the ruling DPP and the TSU.

Different colors were chosen by parties in Taiwan as individual trademarks. The hallmark color for the KMT is blue, and the DPP is known to favor green. In the upcoming elections, parties are separated into two camps in accordance with their political beliefs.

Opposition parties are dubbed the "pan-blue camp," and known for their pro-unification stance, whereas the DPP and TSU are branded the "pan-green camp" for their emphasis on localization.

Lee also backed plans introduced by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Wednesday to create a cross-party alliance for national stability (跨黨派國家安定聯盟) after the Dec. 1 elections.

But Lee said he was not in a position to make any further comments on the proposal because he was not in the know about the plan's details, nor had he discussed the plan with Chen.

If the TSU was invited into the coalition scheme, Lee said "it is not myself, but the TSU chairman [Huang Chu-wen (黃主文)] who should have a say about it."

Still enjoying tremendous popularity, the 78-year-old Lee received a warm welcome in Ilan as crowds followed him around competing to shake hands with him and high school girls shouted: "I saw him; he is so cute."

Although Taiwan underwent a shift of power last year, government operations have been crippled due to the opposition parties' lack of cooperation, Lee said.

Lee told the rally that the elections will influence Taiwan's future politics for the next 20 years because the legislature is the governmental body that decides the significant issues that pertain to people's lives.

Lee called on Ilan residents to vote for the TSU, saying only its candidates care about Taiwan.

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