Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Lien confident of blue majority

PREDICTIONS The KMT leader said the blue camp will heal cross-strait ties, and added that there is room within the status quo for talks with China

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The pan-blue camp will win a majority of seats in the year-end legislative elections, Chinese Nation-alist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) predicted yesterday, while emphasizing that a pan-blue majority will also be beneficial for cross-strait relations.

Speaking to foreign and local media at a press conference yesterday, Lien answered questions about the possibility of his resignation as KMT chairman, his recent call for a new Cabinet and the blue camp's chances in Saturday's legislative elections.

Criticizing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for attempting to destroy the KMT, Lien said that he did not believe the DPP could solve the cross-strait "problem."

In the 50 years that the KMT was the ruling party, Lien said, Taiwan's economic development and foreign relations were both good, unlike the situation now after Chen's first term.

The KMT supports the status quo, Lien said, and added that within the boundaries of the status quo, he believes there are still a number of issues that can be negotiated with China. Lien was guardedly optimistic throughout the conference, repeatedly stressing his belief that the pan-blue camp will win a majority of seats when the media asked him about alternate scenarios.

Without stating the exact number of seats he expects the alliance to win, Lien told reporters that the pan-blue camp's three campaign strategies -- controlling the number of candidates nominated, strengthening weaker candidates, and allocating votes -- were enough to maintain the majority of seats in the legislature needed to check Chen's "recklessness."

Lien did predict, however, that the pan-blue camp would only win by a narrow margin. When pressed for answers about his controversial call on Sunday for a new Cabinet if the pan-blue camp "wins" the legislative elections, Lien was low key.

Lien said he felt that the elections would bring new hope to the country.

While no one disputes the president's right to nominate Cabinet members, Lien said, he hoped that the government and the leaders of the DPP would allow the emergence of a new and capable governing team when the people's consensus is manifested -- through a pan-blue majority.

"It is very strange. Right now, we have a minority government in power, with the majority in opposition," Lien said, adding that no normal democratic state should be in such a situation.

When questioned by foreign reporters about the pan-blue camp's plans should neither side win a majority, Lien acknowledged this possibility was likely.

However, he said, the pan-blue alliance has many friends among the independent candidates running this year. The pan-blue camp should therefore be able to gain some support among the independent legislative bloc, he said..

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