Sat, Jul 17, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blues struggle to stay unified over nomination

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

In order that the pan-blue camp retain its legislative majority after December's elections, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正) yesterday called for unity and an increase in discipline.

Lin made the call in response to tensions between the KMT and the People First Party (PFP) over their joint nomination strategy in Hualien County. The PFP was reportedly unhappy with the KMT's intention to run a candidate against a PFP incumbent.

"The KMT has already expressed its goodwill [in cooperating with the PFP] and neither side should be swayed by their emotions and act in a rash manner," Lin said yesterday, adding that the KMT had agreed to PFP Secretary-General Tsai Chung-hsiung's (蔡鐘雄) request not to hold a primary or nominate party members to run in the constituency.

But a KMT member, whom the party would not name, has expressed a strong desire to run, and the KMT would not prevent him from doing so, caucus whip Liao Feng-te (廖風德) said.

Liao said that the KMT, by giving precedence to the PFP out of courtesy, had decided not to nominate any candidates for the Hualien constituency.

He said that the strategy would be beneficial for the pan-blue camp since the KMT candidate was seeking votes from Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) voters, while PFP incumbent Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) was seeking to retain Hakka votes.

DISCONTENT

Meanwhile, members of the KMT's Strategy and Discourse Unit (策略論述小組) yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the party's decision to let academics revise the unit's suggestions on reconstructing the party's ideological direction.

The unit, headed by KMT vice chairmen Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), has completed its work, deciding to augment "localization" (本土化) with "Taiwanization" (在地化) and protect Taiwan's status quo.

KMT Legislator and committee member Apollo Chen (陳學聖), the spokesman for the unit, said it had forwarded its recommendations three weeks ago to the party's central standing committee -- the party's highest-ranking decision-making body -- for final approval.

Chen said KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had ordered that the recommendations be first handed over to a four-member academic team consisting of Hu Fo (胡佛), Su Yeong-chin (蘇永欽), Chu Yun-han (朱雲漢) and Hsu Cho-yun (許倬雲) for further assessment and revision before being passed on to the central standing committee.

While stressing that he had the utmost respect for these academics, Chen said that the effort put in by members of the unit would be in vain if the direction of the recommendations was to be revised.

"It leaves us at a loss as to what to do [with the discourse reconstruction project] now that there is an additional `assess-and-revise' procedure in place," Chen said.

Given that the revisions tilt largely toward Taiwanese consciousness, KMT Legislator Hsu Chung-hsiung (徐中雄), another member of the unit, said it would be unacceptable if party authorities sought to change the recommendations of the unit's findings at the hands of the academic team simply because they disliked them.

KMT Legislator Lo Shih-hsiung (羅世雄), also a unit member, said he would not endorse the overturning of any recommendations.

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