Wed, Dec 13, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chang sets condition for staying in PFP

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

People First Party (PFP) Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄) yesterday said that he would stay with the party on condition that it pushes through a long-stalled bill calling for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to return stolen assets to the nation.

Chang's proposal, however, got a lukewarm response with PFP Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) saying that the party needed time to think it over.

Chang made the remarks at a meeting of the PFP's legislative caucus.

Chang decided to resign as vice chairman following James Soong's (宋楚瑜) decision to quit politics after failing in the weekend mayoral election, leaving the party without a leader.

PFP lawmakers had expressed their wish that either Soong or Chang would stay and continue leading the party.

"The KMT's huge assets have distorted Taiwan's democratic process and pose an obstacle to establishing a level playing field for party politics. If [PFP members] agree to pass the party-assets statute to second reading, I would stay and work with them," Chang said.

The party-assets statute is aimed at divesting assets improperly obtained by political parties, which would force the KMT to return its stolen assets to the state.

The statute has been boycotted by KMT and PFP lawmakers since the Cabinet sent it to the legislature for review in October.

Lee said that Chang's offer suggests that he really has no intention of staying with the party as the passage of the statute might impair the party's relationship with the KMT.

"It's a significant matter. We need some time to deliberate on it," Lee said.

PFP Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said that he personally agreed with Chang, and another lawmaker Cheng Chin-ling (鄭金玲) said that she believed that the party would step forward to support issues as long as they promote social justice.

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