Tue, Jan 03, 2006 - Page 3 News List

PFP dismisses speculation of mass exodus from party

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The People First Party (PFP) caucus yesterday dismissed speculation that there will be an exodus of lawmakers defecting to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) after the Lunar New Year.

"I've heard the rumor before but I haven't heard it recently, and I don't think it will happen in the current political situation," said PFP Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), who also serves as the party's director of policy research.

Speculation has mounted that many PFP legislators are considering defecting to the KMT after the party's poor performance in the Dec. 3 local government elections.

The PFP won only one seat in the county commissioner and city mayor elections, while the KMT won 14 out of 23 city and county constituencies and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won six.

New speculation surfaced yesterday that about 11 PFP lawmakers who are in favor of a KMT-PFP merger may defect to the KMT in a bid to increase their odds of running in next year's legislative elections.

While the first wave of the exodus may happen after the Lunar New Year, the second could reportedly take place around the end of the year.

Possible defectors may include Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) and Sun Ta-chien (孫大千).

Chang yesterday said that even if there is an exodus, the party will respect the wishes of individual lawmakers.

While some have cast doubt on how harmonious relations are between the PFP and KMT, Chang said that he thought the interaction between the two parties was less complicated than the public believes, and that relations are better than that among fellow Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members.

"A perfect example is President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮)," he said. "Although they are on the same ticket, they are not on the same page."

PFP caucus whip Hwang Yih-jiau (黃義交) said joining a political party is similar to going out on a date, because both require mutual consent.

Unless joining the KMT guarantees a person a nomination in the legislative elections, Hwang said he did not think such a move would be beneficial to defectors.

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