Wed, May 18, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Pan-green camp tensions mount

STRAINED ALLIANCE The DPP said it would try to patch up relations with its ally after Lee Teng-hui advised the TSU to take a hardline strategy in the year-end elections

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that it will seek to mend its relations with the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) to blunt any adverse effects from TSU spiritual leader and former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) suggested campaign strategy for the year-end elections of city mayors and county commissioners.

In a meeting with TSU officials, Lee suggested that the party put up its own candidates for every district in the year-end elections, a move that would split the pan-green vote. In the past, the TSU has generally supported the DPP candidate in such elections for the sake of pan-green unity.

According to TSU Secretary-General Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), the party's high-ranking officials went to Lee's residence in Taoyuan on Monday to report to him on the National Assembly election results.

Lee offered advice to the TSU, and a major issue of their discussions was what kind of relations the party should maintain with the DPP, Chen said.

According to Chen, Lee said that the TSU failed to take advantage of the National Assembly elections to grow in strength and support and that it has become increasingly difficult for the TSU to counteract the DPP in policy-making.

Lee said that the the TSU should engage in long-term strategic planning for the year-end elections of county commissioners and city mayors, the elections of Taipei City and Kaohsiung City mayors in 2006, the legislative elections in 2007 and presidential election in 2008.

Lee said the TSU should focus in particular on the 2007 legislative elections, according to Chen.

In order to gain more leverage in negotiations with the DPP for the nomination of legislators in 2007, Lee proposed that TSU Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強) nominate a candidate for each city and county election to draw a clear line of demarcation with the DPP.

Lee said that although such a nomination strategy could cause a fiasco for the pan-green camp in the year-end elections, it was necessary since it would force the DPP to negotiate with the TSU in nominations for the legislative elections in 2007.

"But former president Lee also warned that the TSU has to prepare a counterplot if the DPP decides to shut out the TSU because of this strategy," Chen said.

Chen said that the TSU will keep its distance from both the DPP and KMT.

As for the strained relations between Lee and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the runup to the National Assembly elections, Chen Chien-ming said he believed Lee will meet the president to patch up their differences.

After the DPP's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said in response to the TSU's announced strategy that the DPP will nominate the best candidates in every electoral district.

"But indeed, it is essential for the DPP to handle its relations with the TSU appropriately," Su said.

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) pointed out that both the DPP and the TSU are supported by localization supporters, and that it is normal for the governing party to take a moderate line while the TSU takes a more radical line.

"I believe that voters will not support the TSU's tactics," DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said yesterday, adding that the DPP will think about how to mend relations with the TSU since the DPP supports reconciliation between the two parties.

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