Tue, Aug 23, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blues talk cooperation on Ma's first day

NEW CHAIRMAN Ma Ying-jeou said he hoped to meet with James Soong, while later in the day PFP and KMT officials reached a preliminary consensus

BY JEWEL HUANG  /  STAFF REPORTER

New KMT Secretary-General Chan Chuen-pao, left, shakes hands with PFP Deputy Secretary-General Liao Chang-sung at PFP headquarters yesterday.

PHOTO: CHIEN RONG-FENG, TAIPEI TIMES

On his first day as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he hoped to meet People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to discuss cooperation between the two parties.

Meanwhile, the KMT secretary-general and PFP deputy secretary-general yesterday reached preliminary consensus on the year-end elections, confirming that pan-blue camp collaboration is underway.

Ma, who is also Taipei's mayor, commenced work as KMT chairman yesterday. He made an inspection tour of the KMT's headquarters building and said he would take good care of both the party affairs and municipal works.

"You don't have to worry about me. I used to hold three posts before," Ma said with a smile in his new office.

Talking about his goals for the KMT, Ma said he would "definitely" deal with the KMT's headquarters building and that staff cuts are also planned, and will be implemented gradually.

"At present, we have a lot of work to do and the party assets issue is only one of them," Ma said. "Currently, the most important thing is to win the year-end [local government] elections."

Later in the day, the KMT's new deputy secretary-general Chang Che-shen (張哲琛) said that "dealing with the headquarters building" does not necessarily mean "selling it." The KMT will not tackle the issue until next year and will tie moving the headquarters to downsizing the workforce, he said.

Overtures to PFP

Meanwhile, seeking to warm KMT-PFP ties ahead of the year-end elections for local mayors and county commissioners, newly appointed KMT Secretary-General Chan Chuen-pao (詹春柏) and several high-ranking party officials visited PFP Deputy Secretary-General Liao Chang-sung (廖蒼松) yesterday at PFP headquarters.

After a short talk in the meeting room, Chan and Liao said that they had had a "nice conversation." Liao said he thought the PFP would have better relations with the KMT than when former chairman Lien Chan (連戰) led the party.

Chan and Liao reached a preliminary three-point consensus on the year-end elections, agreeing to "respect public opinion," "hold on to promises" and "construct systems," according to KMT spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文) and PFP spokesman Hsieh Kung-ping (謝公秉).

Cheng said that the three points were also Ma's declaration on pan-blue cooperation.

But Hsieh said that the KMT and the PFP will not negotiate on the nominations of candidates for the polls until PFP Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生) returns from China.

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