Tue, Jan 17, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP-KMT talks not needed for envoy job: Wang

CROSS-STRAIT AFFAIRS The legislative speaker said he would be happy to serve as negotiator if Chen wants him, but the KMT's consent was not necessary

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that there is no need for party-to-party negotiations if the president is thinking about authorizing him to act as a cross-strait negotiator.

"I have never said that I want to act as the president's envoy in cross-party negotiations," Wang said.

"However, if the country needs me and the president authorizes me to do the job, I will be happy to serve at the pleasure of the president and don't think such an arrangement requires party-to-party talks because it is a national affair," he said.

Wang made the remarks in response to remarks by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Sunday.

Ma said that he would be happy to see Wang represent the nation in negotiations with China if President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) appoints Wang as a cross-strait negotiator, but that the KMT would have to consent to such a move.

Wang said that he is willing to represent the government in discussing direct transportation links with China, but it is up to the president to decide who to appoint because the president is the nation's top administrator setting cross-strait policies.

Meanwhile, commenting on People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) plan to run in the next Taipei mayoral election, Wang said that Soong is a suitable candidate because the city needs someone who is experienced and gutsy.

Wang said Soong is perfect for the job.

Soong said on Sunday that he is confident he would make a good mayor and that none of the other pan-blue members who have expressed an interest in running can beat him in terms of educational background, working experience and vision for the city.

As the KMT is to tighten its primary election regulations, Wang urged anyone wishing to run in the mayoral or city councilor elections as a KMT candidate to join the party in order to be qualified for the KMT primaries.

Under the plan, the party will require people to hold KMT membership for at least four months before they can run in any public posts as a KMT candidate.

The new regulations were seen as an effort to avoid the possibility of Soong entering the Taipei mayoral race as a KMT member by returning to the party to win the primaries.

PFP Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) yesterday criticized the KMT's new rule as a "crafty" scheme aimed at annihilating the smaller PFP.

"They should have at least the courtesy to talk with us if they want to merge," Liu said.

"Ma seems a gentle and polite man but he conceals a dagger behind his shining smile and is very good at playing innocent when things go wrong," the PFP lawmaker said.

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