Thu, Feb 03, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Wang Jin-pyng denies possible conflict of interests

SPECULATION The legislative speaker said that his current job would not be `incompatible' with being KMT chairman, although he was evasive about whether he wants to replace Lien Chan


Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, left, gestures while looking at an old map of Taiwan while visiting People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong in the PFP's headquarters yesterday.


Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is also a vice chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), yesterday denied claims of a conflict of interests if he were to become the KMT chairman. However, he remained evasive about whether he plans to vie to replace KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

Local Chinese-language media reported yesterday that many KMT veterans, as well as the younger generation, want Taipei Mayor and KMT Vice Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to take over the chairmanship from Lien Chan (連戰).

The local media also quoted a KMT veteran as saying that it would constitute a conflict of interests if the legislative speaker doubles as the chairman of an opposition party.

"It is just someone's individual opinion. As long as I follow the relevant regulations, no one will have any reason to complain," Wang said in a TV interview yesterday.

"I have been the KMT vice chairman and the legislative speaker at the same time, and I was never partial [when handling legislative affairs]. It is because most lawmakers approve of me that I have been able to facilitate the passage of hundreds of bills in the past," Wang said.

He said that the two jobs were "not incompatible."

Wang would not say whether he would run for the KMT chairmanship after Lien steps down, but praised Lien as the most appropriate candidate for handling pan-blue collaboration and merger affairs.

"I am too tired after the legislative speaker's election, and it is also close to the Lunar New Year, so let me think it over and meditate on party and domestic affairs during the holidays, and I'll make plans for the future," Wang said.

When asked what he thought of Ma running for the KMT chairman's post, Wang said: "That'd be nice."

In response to a question about whether he was planning to run in the presidential election in 2008, Wang said that he had not looked that far into the future yet.

"It is still too sensitive to talk about this now, and it is impractical too," Wang said.

The possibility of KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) becoming vice premier was also mentioned in the interview. Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) had announced in public that he wanted to have Chiang as his vice premier.

Wang said that he had reported the matter to Lien yesterday afternoon, but that Lien said the matter required more thought.

"Participation in the so-called `negotiation Cabinet' actually involves the whole opposition camp and the [opposition] figures' opinions and feelings need to be considered, so we can't decide on the issue alone," Wang said.

"Meanwhile, Chiang also has to think about whether there would be space for him to exercise his expertise. I believe he has finished his consideration, but you have to ask him about his decision," Wang said.

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