Thu, Jul 29, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Move KMT meetings south: Ma

REGIONAL BALANCE The KMT vice chairman said that learning about voters south of Taipei might be a good idea. What an innovative approach that would represent

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Demonstrators outside the KMT headquarters in Taipei demand yesterday that the party complete the nomination of candidates for the year-end legislative elections in Taipei County's third electoral district.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday proposed that the party hold some of its Central Standing Committee meetings in southern Taiwan in order to help the party seize upon issues that most concern voters in that part of the country.

In response to criticism from KMT legislators that the meetings of the committee had lost their focus, Ma proposed during a meeting that was held yesterday that the committee's functions should be broadened, and energy added to its agenda, so that it could stand in the center of the party's policy-making process.

In addition to urging committee members to show up for meetings on time, Ma suggested that varying the location of the committee's meetings could be beneficial.

"Vice Chairman Ma recommended holding the central standing committee meetings in southern cities at appropriate times so that we can understand more deeply and precisely the issues that our supporters really care about, " KMT Spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said yesterday after the meeting.

Tsai said that KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had assigned Ma and KMT Secretary-General Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正) the task of working out a feasible plan to achieve the goal of reaching supporters better.

Also, the KMT yesterday announced another list of nominees for the legislative elections to take place in December.

Several KMT members who were not nominated in the primary have announced plans to run in the election on their own, without KMT support. Tsai warned other party members not to campaign for these maverick candidates, saying that anyone who violates party rules will be disciplined according to party regulations.

Meanwhile, People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), after having been out of the country for more than a month, returned home early yesterday.

Not giving himself much time to rest, Soong met Lien at KMT headquarters yesterday afternoon. According to KMT spokesman Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), the two talked about the proposed merger of the PFP and KMT, cooperation within the pan-blue camp on the December elections, strategies for dealing with the newly-founded Taiwan Democracy School (台灣民主學校) -- which is headed up by former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) -- and the pan-blue camp's reaction to the March 19 assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Kuo did not disclose any other details of the meeting.

Earlier in the day, Soong said that it was necessary to establish an alliance that could unite all the opposition parties and that doing so was an inevitable development in the nation's democracy.

"The PFP and the KMT need to integrate to become an effective power for monitoring the ruling party and offering a new choice to people," Soong said at CKS International Airport yesterday morning.

"I will make every effort to speed up the integration of the opposition alliance," Soong said.

As for the PFP's poor performance in the by-election for Kaohsiung City councilors, Soong said that the PFP would reconsider its focus and try to learn more about the people's expectations, without giving up any of its essential beliefs.

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