Wed, Jun 01, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Ma's father to kill himself if son runs against Lien

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) father voiced strong support for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to stay on as KMT chairman again yesterday, threatening to commit suicide if his son insisted on running for the job.

"If Mayor Ma will not give up his candidacy, I think I will commit suicide," retired general Ma Ho-ling (馬鶴凌) said in a TV interview yesterday.

His father's statements have put the mayor in an embarrassing position.

Ma Ho-ling said that his son "has no experience" in party operations, and that only Lien could unite the pan-blue camp.

In response, the mayor said that he respected his father's opinion, but planned to continue to campaign for the chairmanship.

Meanwhile, the mayor's rival, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) got angry yesterday when asked if he would talk about "creating a new localization movement" when reporting to the party's Central Standing Committee today.

"When did I say such things? I think this is an unfair question from the media, which seems to be partial to the other side," Wang said.

He said his report would focus on plans for leading and developing the party, as well as the policies on cross-strait relations and how candidates plan to handle the party's assets.

Both the mayor and Wang are scheduled to appear before the committee to outline their intentions for the party if they were to be elected chairman.

They will each give a 30-minute report on why they would be the best person to lead the party. After that, as many as 20 committee members will have three minutes each to ask questions, and the two candidates will each have 10 minutes to answer all the questions.

One committee member, KMT Legislator Ho Tsai-feng (侯彩鳳), said that she will ask the two men how they propose to handle the party's assets. She said many party employees are worried about this issue because they fear for their jobs.

Ho said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has tried hard to target the KMT's efforts to deal with its assets, and she asked that the candidates give a clear explanation of what they would do regarding this situation.

Lien has repeatedly said that he has no interest in seeking re-election in the July 16 poll.

But recently he said he would rethink the matter.

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