Mon, Nov 22, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blue alliance suffering from lack of unified strategies

DISUNITY With Lien Chan still obsessed with overturning the presidential election and no coherent strategy in sight, pan-blue candidates are operating at a disadvantage

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

"Why should the PFP be allowed to share our votes?" Lin asked.

Lin said that while the KMT candidates have gone through a primary in order to win nomination, the PFP candidates have not -- so they should not ask for joint vote allocation with the KMT candidates.

THE MA STARDOM

Furthermore, while most are eager to have Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) endorsement, few KMT candidates in the south are enthusiastic about being associated with Lien.

Many candidates in the south printed Ma's endorsement or a photo of Ma on their campaign materials, but Lien is almost invisible.

"I don't think Lien is necessary, and I don't think he should come [to campaign]," a KMT lawmaker in the south said.

Other KMT lawmakers shared that sentiment and said that Lien's time had passed. By asking for Ma's support, they are pinning their hopes on a new generation of leadership.

Speculation about the new pan-blue leadership is also readily apparent. Ma's face is everywhere on campaign material, but Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) face, like Lien's, is rarely seen.

But Ma's popularity is in some cases being abused. In Pingtung County, where fugitive Wu Tzer-yuan's (伍澤元) younger brother Wu Chin-lin (伍錦霖) is running for a seat, a signboard with a photo of Wu and the supposedly incorruptible Ma reads "Ma Ying-jeou recommends the best candidate."

Wu Tzer-yuan was convicted of corruption and fraud for his involvement, as a then-KMT member and director of the Taiwan Provincial Government's Planning and Development Department, in a kickback scandal over the 1992 Sipiantou water-pumping station project for Taipei County. Many pan-blue candidates in the south have also tried to downplay their party orientation in their campaign material.

Some, like Lee in Tainan County, have chosen to replace the party emblem with the more discreet background of a blue sky and white clouds, the KMT colors.

Even the PFP's most well-known hardliner, Chiu Yi (邱毅), hasn't exactly been eager to demonstrate his party orientation on his billboards and campaign materials. That's in part because he is running in Kaohsiung City, where pan-green supporters outnumber pan-blue supporters, according to recent election results.

KMT lawmaker Hsu Chung-hsiung (徐中雄), for one, showed anger upon hearing that the candidates in the south were eschewing the KMT emblem.

"We should condemn these candidates for not sticking up for the party," Hsu said, adding that he was proud to use the party emblem. "This shows that I am pure blue, unlike many who are `tainted' blue."

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