Tue, Mar 05, 2002 - Page 3 News List

TSU seeking better ties to ruling party

SOUR GRAPES The Taiwan Solidarity Union said that despite the adverse reaction of some DPP lawmakers to the TSU's success -- it would seek to fulfill its promise to work with the ruling party

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) pledged yesterday that despite what it perceives to be an outbreak of professional jealousy, it would seek better communication with the DPP to stabilize the political landscape as it had promised to do during the December elections.

At the same time, party officials stressed that as an independent party, the TSU is entitled to pitch for its own policies, as it is not subordinate to the DPP.

"We fully understand the significance of maintaining an amicable rapport between [the TSU and the DPP], but as an independent party, the TSU has its independent thinking," said Lee Shang-ren (李先仁), director of the TSU's policy center.

"To help smooth differing opinions between the two sides, we hope more efficient communicative schemes will be established in the future," Lee said.

During the first week of the legislative session, the 13 freshman TSU lawmakers demonstrated the party's potential to attract media attention by promoting controversial policies.

For three days in a row last week, proposals raised by the TSU created a stir on the country's political stage.

First, the TSU proposed halving the legislature. Then it suggested eliminating the right of individuals born outside of Taiwan to run for the presidency. Near the end of last week, the TSU asked President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to deliver regular state-of-the-nation reports to the legislature.

These suggestions have at times met fierce opposition from both the "pan blue" camp and its DPP allies.

For example, many DPP lawmakers have expressed reservations on the state-of-the-nation proposal because they fear that Chen would be humiliated by opposition lawmakers while appearing at the legislature.

Given the conflicting views, calls within the DPP for better communication with its TSU allies is growing louder by the day.

While acknowledging that regular communication between the two parties is badly needed, TSU lawmakers said the root of the tension has arisen because of the competition of the campaign and the fact that some DPP legislators believe that the TSU's rookie team is stealing the spotlight.

"Competition and grudges, formed during the campaign due to the fact that supporters of the two parties overlapped, continues at the Legislative Yuan," Lo Chih-ming (羅志明), spokesman of the TSU's legislative caucus, told the Taipei Times yesterday.

He said the TSU believed that some DPP lawmakers had refused to endorse the proposals raised by the union on the grounds that the ideas were initiated by TSU lawmakers from the same constituency.

"In addition, [the TSU] reckons that one of the primary reasons DPP lawmakers are unwilling to support these proposals is because they think they should be the initiators, not the TSU lawmakers."

The lawmaker cited the proposal which aims to halve the legislative as an example.

Lo said that although the idea had long been the consensus within the DPP, some of the party's lawmakers are reluctant to endorse the plan now because they feel they are being outshone by the TSU.

Lo said it was pointless to fuss about who the initiator was, because "the more important matter is to help in the passage of legislation that will be conducive to the country."

"When [the DPP] initiates good proposals, we'd love to be the endorsers. We hope the DPP will do the same," he added.

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