Debates about the proposed pan-blue merger were called to a halt yesterday after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) yesterday afternoon decided that both parties' energies should be focused on the year-end legislative elections, leaving merger concerns until next year.
\nSaying that the December elections should be the opposition parties' foremost concern in the coming months, the KMT and PFP decided to establish an election campaign coordination center to assist and organize the election efforts of all pan-blue candidates.
\n"I came here today to make sure that the procedures for a merger are in place. Just saying hurtful things about each other is not helpful at all. We need to unite, but that also means mutual respect. We hope that both parties can control their own members so that neither side hurts the other," PFP Deputy Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生) said at the cross-party negotiations at the KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday, apparently referring to recent accusations by KMT elders that the PFP was holding up the merger.
\nChin later told reporters that he and six other members of the PFP delegation had met with KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) yesterday afternoon and expressed the PFP's concerns about the merger.
\nWhen he spoke to Lin, Chin said, he emphasized that the PFP was not interested in completing an early merger just for the sake of merging.
\n"We want to create a united, strong opposition party," Chin said, adding that there would be no point to a merger if the New Party and the PFP still existed after the merger.
\nThe ideologies and organization of the three parties must be negotiated and consolidated before they can form a brand new Chinese Nationalist Party, which will take time, Chin said.
\nSpeaking on behalf of Lin, KMT Organization and Development Affairs Director-General Liao Feng-te (
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