Sat, Feb 05, 2005 - Page 3 News List

KMT says topics aren't `preconditions'

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The list of subjects that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has proposed for discussion with the government before it decides whether to allow KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Ping-kun (江丙坤) to join the Cabinet are not "preconditions" but "topics" of mutual concern, the KMT said yesterday, highlighting its determination to participate on an equal, party-to-party basis in the nation's executive branch.

"The Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] has only given us a little time to consider, and has also only opened one position for the KMT to fill. This is no better than a forced marriage," said KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭).

On Thursday, the KMT proposed several topics for discussion: Taiwan's national status, direct links with China, construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, changing Taiwan's name and the investigation into the March 19 shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Before a consensus is reached on these topics, the KMT implied on Thursday that Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) would have little luck getting KMT Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) approval to naming Chiang vice premier. Chiang said on Thursday that his entry into the Cabinet would be meaningless without his party's endorsement.

"If neither side reaches a consensus on policy issues, then the DPP should just use DPP-affiliated people to implement its policies. There is no need for a KMT figure to implement those policies," Chang said yesterday in answer to reporters' questions at KMT headquarters.

"For example, if you want a KMT vice chairman to implement the party asset bill meant to liquidate the KMT, then how is that inter-party cooperation?" he said.

The KMT has vehemently opposed a DPP-proposed statute on the disposition of assets improperly obtained by political parties (政黨不當取得財產處理條例), and has characterized the draft bill as a direct attack on it.

"The DPP's policies have brought hard times to Taiwan," Chang said.

"When the KMT has had good ideas, the DPP has not accepted them and even wants KMT figures to implement failed policies. Is that not a waste of talent?" he said.

The KMT's listing of topics for discussion was meant to facilitate negotiations on issues, he said.

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