Wed, Jul 10, 2002 - Page 3 News List

TSU to court pro-Taiwan KMT lawmakers for pact

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

More than 30 KMT lawmakers have stayed on good terms with the TSU and will be courted by the party to participate in President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) proposed cross-party alliance, a TSU official said yesterday.

Lee Shang-ren (李先仁), the director of TSU's policy center, said once Chen spells out more details regarding the alliance, the TSU will spare no effort in helping to bring the group together. The TSU will also take advantage of its friendly ties with pro-Taiwan KMT lawmakers, Lee said.

Despite denials from TSU Chairman Huang Chu-wen (黃主文) and several KMT lawmakers who have been identified by media reports as possible participants in the alliance, Lee yesterday acknowledged that "discussions are under way and many KMT lawmakers have responded positively."

During his trip to Africa, Chen resurrected his proposed alliance, saying it would help bring stability to the unruly legislature.

The president first introduced the idea in the lead up to December's legislative elections, but the proposal languished because the "pan blue" camp didn't want to participate.

Chen has said he's determined to form the pact this time around. The experience of the past six months shows that the "opposition has totally rejected any possibility of a rational public policy debate."

The DPP and TSU together hold 102 seats in the 225-member legislature. Chen hopes to line up 120 members for his alliance to form a stable majority.

Though the DPP is the legislature's biggest party, analysts say the TSU plays a crucial role in the alliance proposal. The party's spiritual leader, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), remains an influential leader among KMT members and independent lawmakers.

Lee said the TSU backs President Chen's alliance because it is in line with the purpose of Taiwan Advocates (群策會), a think tank formed by former president Lee. "Both were formed to preserve the country's politics," Lee said.

"When Taiwan Advocates was established, it was meant to serve as a platform for pro-localization KMT lawmakers to collaborate with the DPP," he said.

The idea for a cross-party alliance is also similar to former president Lee's proposal last summer, the TSU official said. At the time, Lee had said that if the DPP could win 85 seats in the legislative polls, up to 35 others would "cross over" to give it the majority it needs to pass legislation.

TSU lawmaker Huang Chung-yuan (黃宗源) said the DPP's cross-party alliance can be seen as the realization of Lee's idea.

Huang said the TSU was willing and able to help out the DPP, as the TSU has better connections with the KMT compared with the DPP.

In addition to TSU Chairman Huang Chu-wen, other former KMT members now belonging to the TSU include party Secretary-general Lin Jih-chia (林志嘉) and Lee Shang-ren.

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