Sun, Dec 19, 2004 - Page 3 News List

PFP seen likely to cooperate with the governing party on assets probe bill

CNA , TAIPEI

A prominent People First Party (PFP) legislator said yesterday that the party will support legislation proposed by the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to probe the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) assets, but will not take the initiative to vie for the position of Legislative Yuan vice speaker or cooperate with the DPP in the race.

Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), convener of the PFP legislative caucus, said the party is lending its support to the party asset law because the DPP has shown goodwill by removing the term "ill-gotten" from the bill.

Liu said the KMT assets have always been the target of attack by the DPP during elections, and some people have even accused the PFP of eyeing a share of the assets by planning a merger with the KMT.

The PFP believes the passage of the bill will help clarify the controversies surrounding KMT assets and facilitate the merger of the KMT and PFP, Liu said.

Liu pointed out that although the PFP will clear the way for the bill to enter legislative proceedings, it is against any discriminatory articles in the bill that are designed to liquidate a certain party.

The DPP is expected to submit the bill next week to the Legislative Yuan's procedures committee, which is in charge of scheduling the legislature's agenda. It is unlikely that the bill will be included on the agenda if it doesn't have the support of the PFP.

According to the bill, the assets owned by a political party and its affiliated organizations are to be returned to the government with the exception of membership fees, political donations and campaign funding from the government.

The bill also applies to assets that were sold after May 1, 1991, with parties having to return a payment equivalent to the value of the assets sold.

Also, any transactions taking place after March 10 this year will be declared invalid, according to the bill.

Meanwhile, Liu said the caucus will not express its opinion on any candidates for the speaker or vice speaker posts before it meets to seek a consensus among its members.

Liu denied reports that the DPP has sought to cooperate with the PFP in the race for the vice speaker post, saying the PFP has made it clear that it will not join forces with the DPP on this matter.

Liu also said the PFP will not take any proactive steps to jockey for any Cabinet positions or the posts of speaker or vice speaker of the Legislative Yuan.

A minority of PFP legislators have proposed that the party make a bid for the vice speaker post while supporting the KMT's bid for the post of speaker.

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