The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday confirmed it would not accept Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) offer to attend TSU campaign activities, and said Wang's gesture reflected his pessimism over the pan-blue camp's electoral prospects -- as well as the need to protect his speakership.
"It is impossible for the TSU to invite Wang to campaign for our candidates and it is impossible for the TSU to support Wang to be the next legislative speaker," TSU caucus whip Huang Chung-yuan (黃宗源) said yesterday. "The TSU has a totally different stance on many issues, including national identity, arms procurements and many of the legislative bills of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)."
Last Saturday, Wang, a KMT vice chairman and legislator-at-large candidate, said that he would be willing to attend TSU rallies only if he was invited and could fit them into his schedule.
Wang said that his offer was designed to repay the TSU for its support for him during the election for speaker.
"We thought that Wang's suggestion was inappropriate for our candidates," Huang said. "The suggestion would be more of a hindrance than a help and would only have an adverse effect on the TSU."
Huang added that the TSU was now increasing its efforts to make a clear distinction between it and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in its campaign themes. Therefore, he said, the last thing the TSU wanted to do was to mingle its campaigning with the KMT.
"This time, the TSU will support the candidates nominated by the pan-green camp to serve as legislative speaker and deputy speaker if the pan-greens gain a legislative majority," he said.
TSU Legislator Lo Chih-ming (羅志明), who is also the party's campaign manager, said yesterday that Wang's gesture to "help" TSU candidates was a signal that the race for the speaker's post had already started.
"Wang has foreseen that the pan-blue camp will not win a majority of seats ... and he knows clearly that he has to persuade the TSU lawmakers to support his re-election bid," he said.
Lo said Wang's move was a response to reports that DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), who also plans to run for legislative speaker, will provide assistance to TSU candidates and campaign for them next month.
"Wang's strategy will not work. It will simply damage the pan-blue camp's morale," he said, adding that the pan-green camp's fortunes were stable if not improving.
Lo said the TSU has its own trump card -- the full support of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who will join the party's campaign rallies from Nov. 6.