Tension between the two competitors for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship lessened yesterday with the help of incumbent Lien Chan (
Lien invited Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), to the party's headquarters yesterday afternoon for a chat.
Speaking after the hour-long meeting, Wang and Ma said that Lien had urged them to work to unite the party and increase its support base.
Although the verbal sparring between the Wang and Ma camps heated up this week with both sides accusing the other of negative campaigning, the two men seemed friendly yesterday, going so far as to hug for the cameras.
Yesterday's meeting seemed to have resolved the conflict between the two men over Ma's campaign ads.
`BLACK GOLD' POLITICS
Ma's most recent TV and print ads urge KMT members to draw a clear line against "black gold" politics within the party by voting for him.
The Wang camp has complained about the ads, which they said indirectly smeared Wang by implying that, compared with Ma, Wang has a history of corruption.
The Ma camp has consistently denied such an interpretation, while complaining about the attacks on Ma by by members of the Wang camp.
In response to the complaints, Lien had originally asked both camps to report on negative campaigning to the Central Standing Committee next week.
The two men said yesterday that there was no longer any need for them to discuss negative campaigning during the KMT Central Standing Committee's meeting next week.
Wang said that he had never had any issues with Ma's anti-corruption ads.
However, he said, "corruption" should be used in the future tense, given that the KMT does not have any "black gold" practices at present.
Such ads, he said, might give the outside world the mistaken impression that such practices still exist in the KMT.
Ma echoed Wang's statement that "black gold" doesn't exist now in the KMT.
He said the ads reflected his desire to prevent the such practices from occurring.
In related news, Wang told a breakfast meeting with representatives of several media outlets that he believes that about 60 percent of KMT members will vote in the July 16 election.
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