Mon, Mar 04, 2002 - Page 3 News List

DPP denies secret start of alliance

PARTISAN TIES Party officials admit that the DPP is offering incentives to lawmakers to cross party lines, but say the creation of the alliance for national stabilization has not been authorized by the Presidential Office

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Government officials and DPP lawmakers yesterday dismissed speculation that the ruling party is secretly launching the "cross-party alliance for national stabilization," despite signs that suggest otherwise.

Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), a former DPP legislative whip and a close ally of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), revealed that lawmakers who join the DPP or DPP caucus operations would enjoy priority nomination for various elections as incentives.

The "cross-party alliance for national stabilization" was initiated by President Chen during the run-up to last year's legislative elections.

The proposed alliance would consist of a group of 120 lawmakers that would support the government's policy initiatives and follow four objectives set down by the president.

According to Chen, the four objectives are: switching to a single-member district, two-vote electoral system; opposing "one country, two systems"; implementing the 322 points of agreement reached at the Economic Development Advisory Conference; and implementing national social-welfare policies.

However the alliance has not come into being due to opposition from the KMT and PFP.

Speculation is mounting that the DPP has been making efforts to lure lawmakers across party lines in a bid to initiate the proposed alliance.

On Feb. 1, PFP lawmaker Chiu Chuang-liang (邱創良) took his party by surprise when he announced he was quitting the party on the day of the legislative speaker and vice speaker elections.

He also announced he would vote for the DPP's candidate for the vice speakership, Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌).

Chiu claimed that he was disappointed with the PFP's discrimination against Taiwanese party members, despite its claim of embracing ethnic unity.

Hong lost the race with 106 votes compared with 115 for the KMT's Chiang Ping-kung (江丙坤) in a second round of voting. In the first round, the vote count was 108 to 111 in Chiang's favor.

The second round was necessary because neither candidate managed to win an outright majority in the first vote.

On Feb. 22, KMT lawmaker Yang Jen-fu (楊仁福) announced he was withdrawing from KMT legislative operations after his request to join the legislature's economics and energy committee was denied.

He also accused KMT legislative whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) of monopolizing power and forcing him to join the organic law and statutes committee, in which he was less interested and specialized. Yang was originally in the home and nations committee.

Eight-term KMT lawmaker Hung Chao-nan (洪昭男) on Feb. 28 announced his decision to withdraw from the party after his bid for the position of executive director to the party's policy committee was rejected.

The position became vacant after Hong Yuh-chin (洪玉欽) failed in his re-election bid in last year's legislative elections.

Hung, who has served as a deputy executive director of the committee for many years, has expressed a keen interest in taking over as the executive director.

Instead of appointing Hung to succeed Hong, however, the party offered the position to Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), citing Tseng's seniority.

Independent lawmaker Kao Meng-ting (高孟定) claimed on Saturday that both the president and the DPP would assist in the formation of a legislative caucus for independent lawmakers in exchange for their support.

But Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文), a senior adviser to the president, said that the Presidential Office did not order the launching of the proposed alliance, as far as he knows.

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