Sat, Jan 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Officials refuse to confirm or deny KMT-PFP flirtation


While no officials would confirm that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) plan to work together in the legislative speaker and deputy speaker race, the KMT is still trying to to "flirt" with the PFP, reports said yesterday.

Chinese-language media said yesterday that the KMT had told the PFP that it would leave the deputy speakership vacant for a PFP candidate, so that the KMT and the PFP could have a joint candidacy in the speakership race. The report also said that the PFP would decide on its deputy speakership candidate next Monday.

But neither the KMT nor the PFP would confirm the report. Leading politicians from the two parties said that they had not heard anything about KMT-PFP collaboration in the race.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), KMT vice chairman, also said that he did not know about the possible collaboration.

"I don't know about this [KMT-PFP cooperation], and this is still being handled by party headquarters," Wang said, when asked about the issue by reporters.

"I don't know whether the party headquarters have contacted the PFP directly, but what the newspaper printed was worth some consideration," Wang said.

PFP caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) also said that the PFP had not been informed of a possible KMT-PFP deal.

"The PFP will strive for the deputy speakership position, because the KMT has made friendly gestures toward the PFP, and the PFP will also make kind gestures toward the KMT -- not to exclude the possibility that incumbent Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng can continue his speakership," Liu said.

"It is definitely more likely that the PFP will work with the KMT in the race, rather than with the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP], and PFP-KMT collaboration can work very well," Liu said.

But DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the media report had been leaked by some pro-KMT figure, because he or she was worried that PFP chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) could decide to work with the DPP.

"Someone is trying to portray a failure for DPP-PFP cooperation, and from now to Feb. 1 there is still plenty of time; Taiwanese politics has never been simple and there are still many variables. The result of the race will not be known until all the ballots are counted," Ker said.

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