Thu, Jun 13, 2002 - Page 4 News List

KMT faces a Kaohsiung rebellion

NOMINATION KMT local heavyweights are in open dissent after the PFP's vice chairman took Lien Chan's suggestion that he run for city mayor seriously

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Though the KMT has reached a consensus with the PFP to jointly endorse a candidate to run for in December's Kaohsiung City mayoral election, many KMT members and pro-KMT local leaders yesterday said they had no intention of supporting the PFP's candidate.

"The two parties should not treat the nomination procedure as a children's game; the cooperation between the two parties is just like sharing out candy," said Vice Speaker of the Kaohsiung City Council Tsai Song-hsiung (蔡松雄) yesterday.

"No residents of this city will not accept a candidate who doesn't even know the social makeup of Kaohsiung," Tsai said.

Tsai's remarks were aimed at PFP vice chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄), who announced his intention to seek the combined "pan-blue" candidacy for the mayoral election on Monday.

KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) publicly encouraged Chang to consider joining the campaign last week after a closed-door meeting with PFP chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).

Lien's endorsement, which praised Chang as an excellent choice for Kaohsiung City, was regarded as made out of courtesy, because the KMT headquarters is preparing to nominate one of three aspirants to represent both parties to run against the current DPP mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).

However, Chang, after seeking advice from local PFP members last weekend, decided that he would join the election, which took the KMT by surprise. KMT local leaders in Kaohsiung have since vigorously expressed their opposition.

Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英), former vice mayor of the city and one of the KMT's three hopefuls, spent most of yesterday lobbying local movers and shakers, saying he believed that the party leaders would respect the voice of the people of Kaohsiung.

"The candidate should have a deep understanding of the city's situation," Huang said when visiting Tsai for consultation on how to develop the city.

Tsai then strongly criticized Chang for never having made any contribution to Kaohsiung.

"Chang is a good politician, however, he has never paid ant attention to this city's affairs," said Tsai, "and I hope the KMT and the PFP will not make a mistake in their judgment by jointly endorse such a candidate who lacks public support."

The former Kaohsiung mayor Chen Tien-miao (陳田錨), who is also a KMT heavyweight, showed support for Huang and warned that if the party chose to support the PFP's candidate, many KMT members in may shift their support to an opposing candidate.

KMT lawmaker Chen Chien-chih (陳健治) told reporters that the party was still negotiating with the PFP to try to figure out the best way to nominate a candidate.

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