Tue, Nov 02, 2004 - Page 3 News List

... As pan-blue bigwigs meet to hash out the same issue

STAFF WRITER

Senior officials of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People's First Party (PFP) will meet today, according to reports in the Chinese-language media yesterday, triggering speculation that the parties are seeking to mend rifts caused by the KMT's vote allocation strategy in the legislative elections.

The reports said KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) would meet PFP Deputy Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生).

KMT spokesperson Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) was unable to confirm the reports yesterday, saying he had heard of such a meeting but had been unable to ascertain its existence.

The reported meeting comes on the heels of publicized rifts over the KMT's plans to allocate votes only for KMT candidates, not those of its allies.

Those stories caused consternation within the PFP, since the two parties have made their cooperative push for a pan-blue majority in the Dec. 11 elections a major point of their campaigns.

The controversy began when Lin said on Saturday that his party is in the midst of planning how to maximize the number of its candidates that will win seats.

The KMT, Lin said, would use a vote allocation system to ensure that no votes are wasted in its efforts to ensure the pan-blue alliance wins a majority of seats in the legislature.

PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) has since used every public opportunity to hammer home the message that the pan-blues will not win a majority without his party's support and to criticize the KMT.

On Sunday in Pingtung, for example, Soong mentioned an ad run a month ago by a KMT candidate in Kaohshiung, Lee Fu-hsing (李復興). That ad had criticized Soong as being "even more fearsome than the enemy."

Soong accused the KMT of stabbing the PFP in the back by harboring "unfilial" members within its ranks.

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