Sat, Nov 27, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Lien, Soong can't agree on vote allocation strategy

STAFF WRITER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) met yesterday to discuss how the two parties can work together on vote allocation, but failed to reach an agreement on how to cooperate.

Accompanied by senior party officials, Lien and Soong held an hour-long closed-door meeting at the KMT headquarters at noon.

Describing Lien and Soong's discussion at a press conference afterwards, KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) said the chairmen believed the most important thing for each party now is to "do its best for itself."

"Lien and Soong are very concerned about election campaigns," the KMT's Chang said. "They said each party should work out its vote allocation plan and that they should meet again shortly before the election to discuss how they can coordinate each side's plans."

Chang attacked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government's performance and said the KMT and PFP need to strengthen cooperation in order to allow the will of the Taiwanese people to be heard in the election.

Lien and Soong, said Chang, are "cautiously optimistic" about the outcome of the legislative campaign. "But both parties have to careful because our rival [the DPP] has lots of tricks," Chang added.

PFP spokesman Hsieh Kong-ping (謝公秉) said in a press release that both parties should put aside their merger plan for now in order to concentrate on election campaigns.

In related news, in an ironic gesture against President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) reluctance to provide evidence for the alleged "soft coup," PFP lawmakers yesterday said they were the masterminds behind the coup and would turn themselves in to authorities.

Lifting boards bearing the phrase "soft turn-in," PFP lawmakers, Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), Chiu Yi (邱毅) and Hsu Yuen-kuo (許淵國) held a press conference yesterday and said they will hand themselves over to the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office as the coup's instigators.

"According to Chen's reasoning, demonstrations such as the rallies at the Ketagalan Boulevard immediately after the presidential election and the protest outside the Central Election Commission, can all be considered `soft coups,'" Liu said. "In this case, I am indeed a part of the coups since I was participating in most of these demonstrations."

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