Fri, Aug 18, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Wang insists he will not form a Cabinet

NOT AGAIN The legislative speaker denied the press speculation and rejected Ma Ying-jeou's offer of a legislator-at-large spot, citing a lack of procedure for his refusal

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), again faced with rumors he will be the country's next premier, yesterday denied it once again while rejecting his party chairman's offer to be the No. 1 pick on the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) list of legislators-at-large.

"I will not be forming a Cabinet. It is just speculation," Wang told reporters when confronted with the question that has occurred from time to time amid media stories that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) will not hold the post long.

It has been rumored that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), the Taiwan Solidarity Union's spiritual leader, is unhappy with Su's stance on cross-strait policy and that the pan-blue camp is also considering initiating a move to topple the Cabinet in October.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met with Wang on Wednesday, the second such meeting this week, sparking speculation that the meet was held to persuade Wang from leaving the party.

Wang confirmed that Ma had encouraged him to accept the offer of being top of the party's list for a legislator-at-large position during the two meetings, but he said that the chairman's offer had nothing to do with the rumors of him forming a Cabinet.

"Chairman Ma didn't talk to me about the rumors, and I myself also think that it's very important to stay in my post of legislative speaker and do my job well," he said.

Wang said he didn't take up Ma on the offer because it might be regarded as a "shady deal" since the party hasn't yet come up with a method for nominating its legislators-at-large.

However, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he believed Wang took an ambiguous attitude to Ma's offer because he wants to keep all avenues of cooperation with the pan-green camp open because of the mounting pressure on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to resign.

Meanwhile, KMT legislative caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) yesterday said the party thought that October might be a good time to ask the Cabinet to resign.

"The drive to topple Su's Cabinet could be a good way to show our discontent with the president," Tsai said.

People First Party legislative caucus whip Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said that it might not be a bad idea for Wang to form a Cabinet.

"I urge Chairman Ma to think about it. Now that the pan-blue camp holds a majority in the legislature, it would not be wrong for Wang to be the premier," Lu said.

At a separate event yesterday, Su said that irresponsible rumors made about specific individuals without any proof should not be encouraged by the media.

"These kinds of rumors are the reasons our society is in such a mess," Su said during the opening speech at the National Conference for Youth Human Resource Development.

When asked by the press on the sidelines of the event for comments on a story in the Chinese-language China Times which cited an anonymous DPP heavyweight as saying that Su would step down before President Chen, Su avoided the question and quickly took off from the scene.

Additional reporting by Jimmy Chuang

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