Tue, Oct 21, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Wang expected to head blue-camp's election campaign

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) hasn't accepted the post of head of the pan-blue camp's presidential campaign, members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) say he has already been discussing campaign strategy with alliance members.

"It's just matter of time before Wang's assumption of the position is made public and official," said KMT Legislator Huang Chien-ting (黃健庭).

Huang said he is confidence that Wang will eventually step forward and accept the lead role in the KMT-PFP alliance's campaign work.

According to Huang, Wang held private meetings last week with pan-blue members to discuss strategies and methods concerning the alliance's joint presidential ticket of KMT Chairmen Lien Chan (連戰) and his PFP counterpart, James Soong (宋楚瑜).

"During the meetings, Wang would speak with us about campaign strategy and ways of improving regional support for the Lien-Soong ticket in the run up to next March's presidential election," Huang said.

Noting the alliance is set to establish its campaign headquarters in the beginning of December, Huang predicted that Wang will make an announcement he is assuming the job by the end of next month.

KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) said, "The sooner Wang announces his assumption of the post the better."

"A defined leadership would greatly help the alliance's campaign work," he said.

Wang, who is also a KMT vice chairman, has been ambiguous about whether he would take the position.

As recent as last week when KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) told the media that Wang had accepted the position, Wang was giving non-committal answers when approached by media.

Wang's evasiveness has drawn criticism he might be "keeping one foot in both the green and blue camps."

Liang Su-jung (梁肅戎), a former legislative speaker and a KMT old-guard stalwart, said Wang shouldn't do things that would be harmful to the party.

"It is OK to show a little reservation in the beginning," Liang was quoted as saying. "But Wang ought not to become someone who keeps a foot in both camps."

Huang said such criticism was unfair.

"Wang, after all, is the speaker of the Legislative Yuan," Huang said. "Given that, Wang, with the nation's interests in mind, would have to proceed with prudent manners, which often require him to go across party-lines."

"But it is definite that, at the end of the day when confrontation is unavoidable between parties, Wang, as KMT vice chairman, will make decisions that are in the KMT's interests," he said.

Huang said one reason behind Wang's ambiguity is the need to feed news to the media.

Huang was referring to the media frenzy over President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) choice of running mate.

"Look at how everyday there are reports speculating about who will be Chen's running-mate," Huang said.

"By the same token, Wang's not revealing his answer is one way to keep the media hooked and the news temperature high about the KMT-PFP alliance," he said.

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