Thu, Feb 17, 2005 - Page 3 News List

PFP spokesman accuses KMT of `leaking rumors'

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The People First Party (PFP) yesterday publicly criticized the KMT for leaking rumors to the media in hopes of putting pressure on the PFP to cooperate.

"If the KMT still regards the PFP as an ally party, then it should respect the PFP and not carelessly start rumors," the PFP's spokesman Hsieh Kung-ping (謝公秉) said yesterday at a press conference at the party's central headquarters.

Hsieh's comments were in response to a media report published in the Chinese-language paper the United Daily News. In its report yesterday, the paper quoted an unnamed KMT official as saying that during PFP Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) trip to the US earlier this year, Soong had been contacted by a KMT party member. The report said Soong had told the source that the KMT should not worry, for he would not "abandon or betray Mr Lien," referring to the KMT's chairman, Lien Chan (連戰).

While Soong was away on a month-long trip in the US, rumors circulated that the governing Democratic Progressive Party was hoping to cooperate with the PFP after failing to gain a majority of seats in the legislature in last December's legislative elections.

Soong and the PFP have repeatedly denied that Soong met with any KMT or DPP emissaries when he was in the US.

At yesterday's press conference, Hsieh said that while Soong had been approached by KMT officials about a previously-planned merger between the KMT and the PFP during his first trip to the US, he had not been in contact with any KMT figures during his second trip.

Soong left for the US directly after the legislative elections in early December. He returned to the nation soon after to attend the funeral services of former first lady Faina Chiang (蔣方良), but left immediately again for the US for a second trip that lasted over a month.

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