Thu, Nov 09, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT denies Ma given dressing down by Lien

TOUGH TALK A Chinese-language daily said the former KMT chief had lambasted his successor's `passiveness,' but Lien, Ma and Wang Jin-pyng all said it didn't happen

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday denied allegations that former chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had given Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) a dressing-down over his alleged lack of determination in trying to oust the president.

According to the Chinese-language China Times, Lien lashed out at Ma during their meeting yesterday with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to discuss the third recall motion against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Lien reportedly chastised his successor for not preparing for a legislative bid to impeach or topple the Cabinet if the third recall motion fails.

Lien reportedly questioned Ma's determination to oust Chen, saying that his passiveness could mislead the public into thinking that he was willing to wait for the 2008 presidential election.

Both Lien and Ma, however, dismissed the report.

"The meeting went very well, and there was no such thing as chairman Lien ranting at me ? The party agreed during the Central Standing Committee [meeting] last Friday to push for the third recall motion, and we are focusing our efforts on it," Ma told reporters at Taipei City Hall.

As both Lien and Wang agreed that a third recall motion should be pushed in the legislature, Ma said the KMT will not consider either toppling the Cabinet or an impeachment at present.

Lien issued a statement saying he had been surprised to read the newspaper story.

"I often meet with Chairman Ma and Speaker Wang and we talked about everything ? The story is far from the truth," Lien said.

Wang also denied the report.

"We had a good conversation, and I didn't hear Lien say anything harsh to Ma," he said.

Wang said they only talked about a third recall motion and didn't touch on how to make Chen step down or the possibility of forming a new Cabinet.

In related news, Ma urged the party caucus to help the KMT's Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral candidates to win in next month's elections, saying such victories would be tantamount to a vote of confidence in Chen's leadership.

"Even the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] sees the elections as a vote of confidence in President Chen's leadership. The importance of the elections goes without saying," Ma said at party headquarters later yesterday.

Saying the recent indictment of the first lady on charges of forgery and corruption and other scandals would be a heavy blow to the DPP's reputation, Ma urged the caucus to help the candidates, and serve as "a force of stability" by passing 50 priority legislative bills and dealing with the arms procurement bill as well as the nominations for the state public prosecutor-general and Control Yuan members.

Ma left last night for Paris, where he will be promoting Taipei's wireless infrastructure. When questioned about the timing of the trip, Ma said he was going ahead with it to help the country to shake off its negative image.

Meanwhile, People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said the opposition should propose more feasible measures to oust Chen, in addition to the third recall motion.

"The Taiwan Solidarity Union is not supporting the motion and the situation is not very positive for us. As the biggest opposition party, the KMT should show its determination and do something," Soong said while campaigning for Taipei mayor in Nangang. Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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