Fri, May 30, 2003 - Page 2 News List

DPP: Soong dominates alliance

DECISIONS DISPUTE There are complaints that the PFP chairman is taking matters that concern both parties into his own hands and muting the loud voices of others

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The DPP yesterday complained that PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) has dominated KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) in the KMT-PFP decision-making mechanism during the pan-blue alliance's move to block the legislature from confirming the appointment of grand justice nominees.

"The KMT-PFP joint decision-making platform has leaned towards Soong in an attempt to oppose the DPP's administration. Lien has basically become muted and followed whatever Soong says," DPP Vice Secretary General Lee Ching-yung (李進勇) said yesterday.

The ruling and opposition parties yesterday argued in the Legislative Yuan over when to confirm the appointment of the 15 grand justice nominees which President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) announced on Monday last week.

While the government wants a swift confirmation by the end of June, the opposition parties insist on a delay in making the decision until September.

Lee said the way Soong has talked Lien into complying with the decision to postpone the appointment date showed that the joint Lien-Soong presidential ticket has virtually turned into a Soong-Lien ticket, with Soong taking the lead and Lien being marginalized.

This has put the KMT Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) in an awkward position as Wang had earlier said the Legislature is authorized to proceed with the confirmation in June, Lee said.

"It has always been Soong's tactic to stand against the DPP government in order to gain an edge for himself in the next presidential election," Lee said.

Furthermore, Lee said, when KMT Vice Chairman Vincent Siew decided to become an economic adviser to the president, the PFP launched malicious attacks on Siew, criticizing Siew's loyalty to the KMT.

The attacks, which were intended to force Siew to remain loyal to Lien, had made Siew hesitant to take up more responsibilities to help President Chen reverse the economic slump.

"Soong has taken an aggressive role in influencing Lien. This sent a clear message to Lien that his PFP counterpart has major leverage in the KMT-PFP alliance and that the KMT is losing its leading position," Lee noted.

A similar situation occurred with the supplementary election of the Hualien County commissioner.

The election is being held following the death of the incumbent Chang Fu-hsing (張福興), who passed away early last week.

Soong announced that PFP legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) would enter the election, in a bid to dominate negotiations with the KMT over the KMT-PFP joint nomination of a candidate.

"The KMT knows clearly that whatever candidate it proposes, it has to meet with Soong's approval for a final decision. It makes perfect sense that Soong's early announcement of a candidate increases his bargaining power with the KMT," Lee said.

Meanwhile, DPP Vice Secretary General yesterday urged China to stop oppressing Taiwan's participation in any of the international communities.

A series of attacks that China has launched towards Taiwan, including blocking Taiwan from obtaining observer status at the World Health Assembly, pressuring the World Health Organization's secretariat to denigrate Taiwan's status and sending spy vessels into the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, were just China's way of switching the focus from its poor management of the SARS outbreak, he said.

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