Tue, Jun 08, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Moves taken to start new party

CNA , TAIPEI

The preparatory committee of the tentatively-named Nonpartisan Solidarity Union (NSU) was established yesterday, bringing the country a step closer to seeing the formation of a new political party.

Former interior minister Chang Po-ya (張博雅) said during a news conference marking the committee's establishment that she does not exclude the possibility of serving as chairwoman of the new party when it is founded.

Chang said the establishment of the NSU will effectively offer a "third" or "middle-way" choice for the people of Taiwan, who have long been divided into only two groups -- either "pro-unification blue" or "pro-independence green."

The new party's 40-odd founders include some well-known politicians such as Chang, former Hsinchu mayor Shih Hsin-chung (施性忠), and 10 of the 13 independent legislators who are members of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU).

The NSU preparatory committee was to file a list of its founders yesterday with the Ministry of the Interior in the first step toward forming the new party, said Chiu Chuang-liang (邱創良), one of the founders.

Tsai Hao (蔡豪), one of the founders and head of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU), said the new party's goals include enabling independent lawmakers to play a more useful role in the party-dominated legislature.

Tsai said the NSU is expected to flex its muscles in the year-end legislative elections and is determined to win more than 15 seats. The party will name no more than one candidate in each constituency in the elections, in hopes of winning more than 5 percent of the vote, Tsai said.

He added that all 10 members of the alliance will stand for re-election, which should quell speculation that the Democratic Progressive Party is trying to win over the alliance's support in the legislature by offering its members Cabinet positions or seats in the Control Yuan.

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