Sat, Jan 01, 2005 - Page 4 News List

PFP says no plans for merger with KMT or power sharing with the DPP

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The People First Party (PFP) and its erstwhile ally the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have a partner-to-partner relationship, but there are no plans for a merger, said the PFP yesterday.

"The PFP and the KMT have a very clear `partner-to-partner' relationship. We stand with the KMT in their position on Taiwan's national status and title. However, on social policies and issues, we are making the voters' concerns our priority and do not exclude the possibility of cooperating with any party," said PFP spokesman Hsieh Kong-ping (謝公秉) yesterday at a press conference in response to media queries.

Hsieh made reference to a previous statement by party chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) released by the PFP that the PFP would follow its own direction in the future.

Hsieh made the comments while addressing rumors that the PFP and its traditional rival the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) might collaborate in the formation of a new Cabinet.

At the press conference, Hsieh denied that the PFP had plans to cooperate with the DPP and revealed that party chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) had previously made a promise to that effect to KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

Soong is currently on a trip in the US.

Before Soong left Taiwan, said Hsieh, Soong had called Lien to discuss various party concerns. During the conversation, Soong had reassured Lien that the PFP would not cooperate with the DPP to form a new cabinet, said Hsieh.

Seeking to put an end to media speculation on the issue, Hsieh further emphasized that only the party's spokesperson, secretary-general, and legislative caucus whip could act as reliable sources of information.

All other people should not be considered representative of the party, and the PFP will not exclude taking legal action against future "irresponsible" media reports, said Hsieh yesterday.

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