Sat, Jul 03, 2004 - Page 3 News List

League won't hurt nominees: Ma

CONSENSUS The Taipei mayor said that the way candidates for local electorates would be divided between the pan-blue alliance would maximize the pan-blue vote

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Obstacles impeding the pan-blue camp's plan to join forces as a "league" would not have a bearing on the choice of candidates for the December legislative elections, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.

"[The pan-blue camp] has been working on its nomination procedures, and these have nothing to do with whether or not there will be an opposition league," said Ma, who is also a vice chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Ma was referring to a scheme in which the KMT and its allies, the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party, would allow each party to nominate a fixed number of candidates in each constituency to prevent them from splitting the pan-blue vote.

Ma said that the pan-blue camp had reached consensus on how it would divide up nominations in a majority of the constituencies, and that only a small number of constituencies still required work.

Ma was attempting to brush off speculation that the pan-blue camp's nomination scheme would fall apart if it could not form a league prior to the elections in December.

The idea of forming a league drawing together all opposition forces was floated by PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) last week who said he had met privately with KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to discus the feasibility of the move.

The pan-blue alliance is hoping that it can jointly nominate a list of legislators-at-large, an idea that has met with official objections given that the alliance is not a single party, and unease within the KMT's rank and file.

While the idea of forming a league received immediate endorsement from the New Party, Lien stressed that "a merger between the KMT and the PFP remains the ultimate goal" of his party.

not feasible

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said on Wednesday that it was not feasible for the pan-blue camp to jointly nominate legislators-at-large according to electoral regulations.

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) on Wednesday also publicly advised former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) not to further involve himself in the push for an opposition league.

Hsu has sided with the pan-blue camp since his split with the DPP in 1999.

Some members of the KMT, who have voiced reservations about forming a league, accused Hsu of attempting to use the KMT's resources to gain himself a spot on the list of legislators-at-large nominees.

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