Thu, Nov 02, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lu won't join `third force'

TEA PARTY TALK The vice president commented on a variety of issues during a question-and-answer session at a get-together for the Presidential Office press corps

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday that she would never join a so-called "third force" alliance, nor had she ever thought of running in the 2008 presidential election.

"I have never joined the `first force' nor will I join the `second force,' not to mention the `third force,'" she said. "It has never crossed my mind. It has never even appeared in my dreams."

Lu was responding to speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) intends to form a "third force" alliance that would field its own candidate in the next presidential election.

Lu made the remarks during a question-and-answer session during a tea party for the Presidential Office's press corps.

She said that some media outlets would fabricate news to boost their circulation or viewership. She singled out an inaccurate report that she and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) were considering an alliance.

A more recent example was the rumor that Lee wanted to see Wang and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) team up on a single ticket for the 2008 election.

Lu said she envied Wang in a way because he seemed to be a media favorite and he and Lee seemed to have very close ties.

Lu, who just recovered from an attack of shingles, said that Taiwan is sick and in a worse condition than she was in the past month.

She urged politicians to be less concerned about elections and personal or party considerations and more concerned about the people's livelihood. She also urged them to place more emphasis on honesty and sincerity.

Lu said that she and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) would like to see the next presidential poll held in conjunction with legislative elections. That is why she said before that Chen would not call a snap election if the legislature passed a no-confidence vote against Premier Su Tseng-chang's (蘇貞昌) government.

The remark created controversy since Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun had previously said that the party would recommend that Chen dissolve the legislature if the lawmakers voted in favor of bringing down the government.

Regarding the delay in approval of the president's nominees for the Control Yuan, the vice president said she disliked the suggestion that heads of the four branches of government review the president's nominations, saying that it would violate the separation of powers.

The Control Yuan is the government watchdog agency.

Lu, who chaired the review committee for Control Yuan nominees, said she had expressed her opposition to the idea to both Chen and Wang.

She said she didn't think Chen would follow through on the suggestion because he had told her that he would consider re-nominating the candidates on two conditions: If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) promised not to increase the legislature's confirmation threshold from a simple majority to two-thirds and the legislature returned his nomination list before he made new nominations.

Lu also confirmed that the president had asked her to visit a diplomatic ally in Africa on his behalf, although she didn't mention a name. Details of the trip are still being arranged, she said.

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