Sun, Dec 19, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Lien tells Chen to respect `new will of the people'

VICTORY LAP The KMT chairman said a pan-blue camp heavyweight should be the next premier, at a rally to thank voters for giving them a new majority

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the legislative majority it retained in last Saturday's legislative elections, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will work for the economic welfare of the nation, improve cross-strait relations and balance the government , the KMT promised its supporters yesterday.

Speaking at a rally near the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall yesterday afternoon, KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) thanked pan-blue supporters for their votes and for giving the pan-blue camp its 114 out of 225 seats in the sixth legislature. Accompanied by his wife Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀), and KMT Vice Chairman and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Lien led a group of newly-elected KMT and New Party legislators in a deep bow of thanks to the crowd.

Lien said the results of Saturday's elections reveal that the people believe in the KMT and its stance on the retention of the national title the Republic of China, and hope for peace across the Taiwan Strait.

"Cross-strait relations are grim because the ruling administration cannot deal with its problems," Lien said yesterday.

The KMT does not support the extremes of either Taiwanese independence or reunification between China and Taiwan, Lien said, but rather stands for the status quo. Both China and Taiwan should set aside political conflicts and actively begin the process of negotiations to ensure a win-win situation in the Strait.

Lien has previously said that the KMT supports negotiations within the boundaries of the status quo.

Lien also urged President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday to respect the "new will of the people" by nominating KMT heavyweight and Deputy Legislative Speaker Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) as the next premier.

Lien was upbeat on the planned merger of the pan-blue camp, stressing that the merger will go through as the camp has been promising since its defeat in the March presidential elections.

New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) echoed Lien's call for the merger while onstage during the rally.

"It is the hope of many supporters that the pan-blues unite. The pan-blue camp must unite and consolidate, we must cooperate and merge," Yok said.

Noticeably absent from the rally, however, was the third member of the pan-blue camp, the People First Party (PFP). While the KMT's plans for the rally had not included the PFP, the KMT extended an invitation to the party Friday, in a last-minute attempt at unity.

Since the party's poor showing in the legislative elections, its chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) has on several occasions expressed a disinclination to have his party merge with the KMT.

Despite the KMT's invitation, the PFP yesterday declined to attend the rally, stating that many of its party members already had other plans given the lateness of the invitation.

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