Tue, Dec 14, 2004 - Page 3 News List

PFP rips into KMT over election

BETRAYED James Soong blamed his pan-blue ally for the defeat of several PFP candidates and criticized Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's performance

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Conflict within the pan-blue camp was evident yesterday as the People First Party (PFP) threw cold water on the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) bid to have KMT Vice Chairman Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) stay on as legislative speaker, and accusing its ally of cutting its throat in Saturday's legislative elections.

"Wang will need to suggest some sort of new vision for the legislature in order to win the PFP's support [to stay on as speaker]," said PFP Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄) said yesterday morning.

Chang and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) toured Taipei County yesterday to thank everyone who voted for the party's candidates on Saturday.

"When the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] trampled on the dignity of the legislature over critical issues such as the March 19 Special Truth Investigation Committee and the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, we did not see Wang come out and say a single word of justice," Soong said.

"Taiwan is the most disrespectful nation in the world toward its legislature," he told supporters.

Soong said the PFP has no particular opinion about Wang -- as long as he can protect the dignity of the legislature and defend the Republic of China, the PFP will support him.

For a second day in a row, Soong was not so polite when he talked about the KMT, casting more doubt on the durability of the parties' alliance and blaming the KMT for the PFP's poor showing.

While the election was a success because it will prevent the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government from moving ahead with plans to change Taiwan's name and thereby increase the threat of a cross-strait war, Soong said, many outstanding PFP candidates did not win because the KMT withdrew its support for them.

The KMT has closed the door to a merger, he said.

"My feeling is our cooperation is like drinking icy water in chilly weather," Soong said later at an informal press conference in Taipei.

"Because of our unconditional support for the KMT, we have lost our identity and almost became a marginal party," he said.

The PFP, however, will continue to cooperate with the KMT in the legislature if it believes that bills or policies proposed by the KMT fit in with the PFP's proposals, he said.

In contrast to Soong, KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-Cheng (林豐正) said yesterday morning that the door to a merger and to KMT-PFP cooperation will never be closed.

The KMT has done all it can to further the merger, Lin said at the party's headquarters.

At a press conference yesterday morning, the KMT legislative caucus called for the merger to take place as planned in February.

In other news, as the legislature reconvened yesterday, several lawmakers who lost their reelection bids announced plans to stay in politics.

Speaking at the Legislative Yuan, independent Legislator Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴) said he would run in the Kaohsiung mayoral elections in 2006.

PFP Legislator Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠), who lost her seat in Taipei City's north district, said she plans to run for Taipei mayor in 2006. She said she would establish a foundation to research the needs of the city and its residents.

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