Wed, Jan 12, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Chen Chi-mai wants to ink deal with the PFP

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

As the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gears up in its effort to cooperate with the People First Party (PFP), Cabinet Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) yesterday proposed that the two parties could consider inking an agreement or making a joint statement before forming an alliance.

"As both the ruling and opposition alliances have agreed to reconcile and cooperate after the legislative elections, there're many things that political parties can do to stabilize the political climate," he said.

In addition to signing a party-to-party agreement or memorandum, the parties could consider jointly making a declaration, pledging to cooperate in the legislature to help push the passage of significant bills concerning people's livelihood and public interest.

But a senior PFP legislator yesterday denied a report claiming that the DPP is close to finalizing a deal to cooperate with the PFP.

Dismissing the report as a mere rumor, PFP legislative caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said neither PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) nor any PFP politicians have had any contact with the DPP.

A local daily ran a story yesterday saying that a cooperation deal between the DPP and PFP is nearly complete and that Soong is likely to meet with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) soon.

The report said that the two parties are inclined to cooperate in the race for Legislative Yuan speaker and vice speaker, and that some PFP politicians may also enter the Cabinet.

Liu said the PFP's fundamental policies of "defending the Republic of China and opposing Taiwan's independence" remain unchanged, saying that the party will never trade its party stance for power or positions in the government.

Liu said a lot of political rumors are being circulated by different people with different motives.

While some stories say acting DPP chairman Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) has recently met Soong in the US, others say the DPP is offering the PFP a number of different positions including Straits Exchange Foundation chairman, premier, vice premier as well as Legislative Yuan speaker and vice speaker, Liu pointed out.

Huang Teh-fu (黃德福), head of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus, accused the DPP of using the media to spread rumors to try to divide the alliance between the KMT and PFP.

Ker admitted that it is premature to jump to the conclusion that a DPP-PFP cooperation deal is near before Chen and Soong meet.

Ker said he hopes Soong will hold talks with Chen on issues concerning Taiwan's political stability, economic development and cross-strait peace after he returns from the US.

Ker said there is a need for the DPP to sit down for talks with opposition leaders to seek reconciliation and that the talks are not exclusively for the PFP but also include the KMT.

Also yesterday, a group of protesters drove 10 campaign trucks around the Legislative Yuan in opposition to the PFP's alleged plan to cooperate with the DPP.

The protesters urged people to participate in a demonstration set for Saturday at PFP headquarters to "rescue the PFP from turning green," the color of the DPP.

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