Fri, Nov 10, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lien, Wang wanted me to be pan-blue candidate: Soong

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH STAFF WRITER

People First Party (PFP) Chair-man James Soong (宋楚瑜) said yesterday that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had suggested back in April that he run for Taipei mayor as the pan-blue camp's candidate.

Wang and Lien told him at the time that they would convey their opinions to the KMT's higher-ups, Soong said.

"However, judging from the current situation, it seems that the KMT did not value Wang and Lien's idea," he said.

He made the comments in response to reports that KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had asked Lien to dissuade Soong from running.

Wang told reporters last night that while he could not speak for Lien, he was true that he had thought at the time "that Soong was the best candidate to represent the pan-blue camp."

"But that was a long time a ago, almost half a year ago. As a KMT member, I am supporting the candidate nominated by the KMT," Wang said.

Soong has taken temporary leave from the PFP to be able to run as an independent.

Meanwhile, KMT Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) said earlier yesterday that in contrast to the scandal-ridden Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the KMT would show its strength in fighting for justice and integrity.

He also said Ma would stay in Taipei this weekend to campaign for mayoral candidate Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌).

He made the comments at a press conference to unveil the KMT's campaign platform -- "Save Taiwan with Integrity" -- and its boy scout scarf logo.

In other campaign news, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun went to Kaohsiung yesterday, where he will spend a week campaigning for the DPP's mayoral candidate Chen Chu (陳菊).

While insisting that Chen is catching up to her KMT rival Huang Jun-ying (黃俊英) in opinion polls, Yu urged all DPP members to make the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections a priority.

DPP Taipei mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) supported Yu's remarks while denying that he had faced pressure from the Presidential Office to publicly support President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

"It's impossible for the Presidential Office to pressure me. I am not serving in any position at present and my candidacy in the Taipei mayoral election is not a favor from the president," he said.

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