Mon, Jan 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP begins mulling its candidates for legislative speaker


The legislative caucus of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will hold a meeting Wednesday to discuss its ticket for the new Legislative Yuan's speaker and deputy speaker elections, acting DPP Chairman Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday.

The new legislature will begin Feb. 1 when all the 225 newly sworn-in lawmakers will also elect among themselves a speaker and deputy speaker.

Ker said he is consulting leading figures of various DPP factions to seek their opinions about the party's candidates for the two top legislative posts.

"We hope to reach an intraparty consensus on the ticket through consultations. Otherwise, the DPP caucus will hold a primary vote to decide on the ticket," Ker said.

Theoretically, Ker said, incumbent DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), who will be a legislator-at large in the new legislature, is the party's top choice for the speaker post. Nevertheless, he said, Chang's candidacy is still pending the caucus' final discussion.

As to the candidate for deputy speaker, Ker said a primary vote by all caucus members may have to be held.

The DPP, which will have 89 seats in the new legislature, originally hoped to forge a working partnership with the opposition People First Party (PFP), which controls 34 seats, to facilitate the implementation of its reform agenda.

Some DPP lawmakers previously proposed a DPP-PFP ticket for the speaker and deputy speaker elections. However, the hope for a DPP-PFP coalition has dimmed after the PFP caucus announced that it will cooperate with its traditional pan-blue ally of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), who has 79 seats in the new legislature in the speaker and deputy speaker elections.

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