Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 3 News List

PFP questions KMT's sincerity

STAFF WRITER

The People First Party (PFP) caucus yesterday questioned the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) sincerity toward a merger plan after instances of the KMT campaigning for members who failed to win the party's nomination.

The PFP and the KMT had previously agreed to nominate a fixed number of candidates in each constituency to prevent the pan-blue vote from being split in next month's legislative elections.

Referring to the agreement, PFP caucus spokesperson Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) yesterday expressed frustration at the KMT's lack of action against members of its party who are campaigning for election despite failing to secure the party's nomination.

Liu noted that Chiang Fang Chih-yi (蔣方智怡), a daughter-in-law of late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and member of the KMT's Central Standing Committee, had recently stumped for Chen Ching-pao (陳清寶) even though Chen had not been nominated by the KMT.

Although Chen had failed to secure the party's nomination in the Kinmen constituency, he had expressed a strong desire to run and the KMT said that the party would not prevent him from doing so.

"We felt like our hearts had been pierced by knives, which also led us to doubt the KMT's sincerity over the merger," Liu said at a press conference held to address the issue.

Pointing out that the KMT had not expelled Chen and Chao Erh-chung (曹爾忠) even though they had broken party discipline, PFP Legislator Tsao Yuan-chang (曹原彰) questioned whether the KMT had plans to allow the two back into the party should they be elected next month.

If that happened, Tsai said, it would "raise the KMT's bargaining power in deliberating the merger."

Chao is running for a legislative seat in the Matsu constituency.

"Despite the tacit understanding between the PFP and the KMT to nominate a fixed number of candidates in each constituency, the KMT did not take action to address its members' defiance of party discipline and insistence on running in the election," Liu said.

"I wonder whether a similar scenario will also soon take place in Matzu or Hualien?" Liu said.

Liu said the KMT and the PFP did not have to engage in fratricidal infighting.

Stating that the year-end legislative elections are the pan-blue camp's last opportunity, Liu called on the KMT to attach importance to the tacit understanding in the joint nomination strategy.

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