Mon, Oct 16, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmakers to vote on Su proposal

DECISION TIME Ma Ying-jeou decided to let his party's lawmakers make up their own minds on whether they wanted to support a no-confidence move against the premier

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers will hold a straw poll today on whether to try to topple Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

"We will have a caucus meeting tomorrow at noon to hold the straw poll and we will act in concert according to the result," KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said yesterday.

Following the failure of the second presidential recall motion on Friday, PFP (People First Party) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) threatened that his party would propose a no-confidence measure against Su.

However, the PFP, which only holds 10 percent of legislative seats, was unable to talk KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) into supporting the proposal. On Saturday, after meeting Soong, Ma said that he would leave the decision up to KMT lawmakers.

"KMT lawmakers who signed their names on the PFP's motion will be asked to withdraw their signatures should the result of the straw poll be against the motion," Tsai said.

He said the straw poll would be "an anonymous ballot" as whether to topple Su is of concern to each lawmaker's own interests, referring to the possibility that the legislature might be dismissed by the president if the no-confidence vote is approved.

Legislator Chen Chin-ting (陳進丁) of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union yesterday said he had withdrawn his name, causing the number of endorsements to drop to 75, only one above the threshold needed to propose the motion.

Meanwhile, in a related development, Su yesterday said he met with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), the spiritual leader of Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), on Saturday.

"He [Lee] said he was very happy to see me and repeated it many times. He gave me a lot of encouragement which I really appreciated," Su told the press yesterday when attending an event held to solicit votes for Democratic Progressive Party city councilor candidates.

Su declined to reveal the nature of his conversation with Lee nor comment on speculation that his visit was to seek TSU support with regard to the no-confidence motion.

However, Su urged the pan-blue camp to back off from either a third presidential recall or any attempt to oust the Cabinet.

"The [political] turmoil has lasted for a long time, causing damage to society and leaving the legislature idle. [The pan-blue camp] should stop [pushing the presidential recall and no-confidence motions]. Otherwise, people will get angry," Su said.

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