Fri, Feb 07, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Soong and Lien set to meet next week on election ticket

COALITION CAMPAIGN PFP Chairman James Soong wants to meet with his KMT counterpart before Lantern Festival

STAFF WRITER

PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said yesterday he would meet with KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) within the next week to discuss the details of how to cooperate in their joint presidential bid and in order to finalize the pairing for a combined ticket.

Soong said he wished to meet with Lien before the Lantern Festival, which falls on Feb. 15.

Sources indicated the date for the meeting is likely to be between next Wednesday and next Friday.

If the rendezvous does take place, it would be the second time Lien and Soong have met since their get-together in December, when they announced their intent to present a joint KMT-PFP ticket for next year's presidential election.

"The meeting will be set before the Lantern Festival, and we will discuss concrete details regarding the cooperation, including the combination for the joint ticket, and the KMT-PFP cooperation through the party coalition," Soong said at a press conference yesterday.

He said that cooperation between the PFP and KMT would be conducted in three aspects -- cooperation in next year's election campaign, in the legislature and in policy development.

Soong also proposed a timetable for such cooperation that would include the proposed meeting before the Lantern Festival, making the final decision for the joint presidential ticket by the end of next month and establishing a campaign team in April.

As for who should be chosen as the presidential candidate and who should be the running mate, Soong said, "Both Lien and I wouldn't think that each one alone is the only choice for the presidential position."

He added that mutual respect would be necessary, no matter who got the presidential spot.

"The combination of the joint ticket should be based on who could take the lead in the election and win, that's what we are mostly concerned about," Soong said.

Lien confirmed yesterday that he would meet with Soong in the next few days, after Lien's return from a 12-day visit in Europe for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Lien said both he and Soong would not disappoint the public and would use the meeting to come up with concrete solutions for cooperation in the presidential election.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who had earlier shown support for a Lien-Soong ticket, suggested yesterday that the two parties could use an opinion poll to determine who should be on the joint ticket.

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