Sun, May 05, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers seek a return to the KMT fold before election

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

KMT officials yesterday confirmed that New Party and independent Taipei City Council deputies have contacted the KMT with the intention of "returning to the fold."

Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), head of the KMT's Taipei City branch office, said the politicians wanted to vie for the party's nomination in their upcoming re-election bids.

In addition, there are some who wished simply to maintain a cooperative relationship with the KMT in the campaign, Ting added.

Ting said his office is still evaluating these cases and has not made a decision as to how it will deal with them.

The impact on the KMT's campaign and the potential of these politicians are two elements in the evaluation, because as incumbents, they will enjoy advantages in their re-election bids, Ting said.

As the KMT will only start accepting registrations from members interested in running for Taipei City County deputies on June 24, it probably will need to wait until July to offer a clearer answer as to whether the politicians will be permitted to rejoin the party, Ting said.

He said the KMT "is an open-minded party and hopes to cooperate with like-minded friends to create a favorable situation for the `pan-blue' camp."

If the KMT, PFP and New Party offer too many candidates competing for similar support bases, they could suffer severe setbacks in the races, Ting said.

KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) yesterday said the party would welcome the politicians to rejoin the KMT and run under the party's banner as long as their candidacies do not hamper other KMT candidates' chances.

The New Party's survival has been seriously threatened since the foundation of the PFP and it won only a single seat in last December's legislative polls.

Also yesterday, a group of over 30 recipients of the KMT-sponsored Dr. Sun Yat-sen scholarship decided to gather other recipients with KMT membership to throw their full support behind Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) re-election bid and the KMT's yet-to-be announced candidate for Kaohsiung mayor.

A total of 171 people -- including Ma -- have supported their post-graduate studies overseas with the scholarship over past decades.

Other prominent recipients have been P.K. Chiang (江丙坤), vice speaker of the Legislative Yuan; Chao Shou-po (趙守博), chairman of the Chinese Broadcasting Corporation; former DPP Chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良); DPP legislator Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏); and PFP legislator Pang Chien-kuo.

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