Mon, Nov 01, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blue tensions rising over election coordination

INFIGHTING Some KMT candidates' unwillingness to share votes with other pan-blue members has the PFP chairman questioning the solidarity in the alliance

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER WITH CNA

Recent news about Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) plans for vote allocation in the year-end legislative elections for candidates within their own party became a point of contention between the party and its ally the People First Party (PFP) yesterday, with PFP chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) reminding the KMT of the PFP's importance.

The leadership of the two parties initially seemed friendly yesterday with KMT heavyweight and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Soong yesterday appearing together to stump for PFP Legislator Chung Shao-ho's (鍾紹和) re-election run in Kaohsiung County. Despite handshakes between the two, Soong's comments at the rally revealed that he did not consider the KMT to be cooperating with the PFP.

"Speaker Wang's math is very good. He knows that for the pan-blue alliance to win a majority of seats in the legislative elections, the KMT and the PFP have to be added together in order for there to be a majority," Soong said yesterday.

For the pan-blue alliance to capture a majority in the year-end legislative elections, the KMT and its ally the PFP must together win over 113 seats in the 225-seat legislature. KMT Organization and Development Affairs Director-General Liao Feng-te (廖風德) said yesterday that the party expects 54 to 58 of its 74 candidates to win seats in the Dec. 11 elections. The PFP has 41 candidates running in the elections.

"There are some people in the KMT that are not willing to allocate votes with the PFP. These people are still not clear about their position. Does this mean that calls for cooperation were just lies?" Soong asked.

Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also commented about the KMT's plans yesterday. According to Ma, the most important issue now is cross-party endorsements for pan-blue legislative candidates, and not vote allocation plans.

There is still one month until the elections. The KMT will focus on how to best allocate votes between candidates, Ma said.

The Taipei City mayor was nearly hit with an egg yesterday while stumping for KMT legislative candidate Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池).

While shaking hands with voters in a market with Lin, an unidentified woman tossed an egg at the mayor from behind, but missed.

Ma took the incident in stride, saying it must be a campaign side-effect of the competition between the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party.

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