Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 3 News List

New political party to be inaugurated today


A group of pro-independence activists said yesterday they will form a new political party bearing a Chinese title close to that of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and which supports Taiwan's eventual reunification with a democratic China.

"The Taiwan Nationalist Party [TNP] will be formally inaugurated in a farmhouse in Puli (埔里), Nantou County, on Saturday [today]," said Hsu Teng-kun (許登昆), a spokesman for the party's organizing committee.

Hsu said he did not think the new party's title would cause any confusion with the KMT.

"Our party is by no means a namesake of the KMT," Hsu said. "In Taiwan's politically divided society, voters won't be confused by party titles. In Taiwan, anybody who sees the word `Taiwan' in our title will understand what our party stands for."

"Voters also easily understand what the KMT stands for when reading the word `China' or `Chinese' in its title," he said.

Hsu said the party has chosen Puli as its birthplace mainly because the township is located at the heart of Taiwan.

"The selection of Puli as our party's birthplace embodies our determination to see the world from a Taiwanese perspective, and the holding of the inaugural ceremony in a farmhouse will accentuate our grassroots-oriented ideology," Hsu said. "Our party will reflect and put forward ordinary people's voices and opinions. It won't be led or dominated by a handful of political figures."

"This grassroots operating style will distinguish us from other political parties," he said.

In the face of criticism about the party's title, Hsu said the party's founding members have agreed to keep a low profile.

"We only invited former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to attend the inaugural ceremony, but because of his busy schedule, Lee won't be able to attend," Hsu said.

Following the ceremony, Hsu said, the party's founding members will travel around the nation to publicize the party's ideals and recruit members.

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