Thu, Dec 14, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT body discusses PFP coalition for coming year

TEAMING UP A draft document suggests that any coalition should establish a decision-making committee to discuss major policies and electoral cooperation

By Mo Yan-chih and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) highest decision-making body yesterday discussed the possibility of forming a coalition with the People First Party (PFP), seeking to carry out the consensus reached in a meeting between the two parties' chairmen earlier this month.

While supporting KMT-PFP cooperation, many of the KMT's central standing committee members expressed concern on the issue of the new nomination mechanism for the legislative election next year.

The idea of forming a KMT-PFP coalition emerged during a private meeting between KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) on Dec. 1.

"We wanted to seek KMT-PFP collaboration in the legislature and in policies and agreed to form the coalition on Dec. 1. The KMT kept our promise and will push for the establishment of the coalition," Ma said.

The draft written by the KMT suggested that the coalition should establish a "decision-making committee" to discuss major policies and bills in the legislature, and cooperation in elections.

The committee should be convened by the chairmen of the two parties, who would be responsible for nominating three committee members and should seek a consensus if any disputes occurred.

In addition, the KMT and PFP should nominate candidates together in next year's legislative election, and the parties should make concessions for each other in certain districts to maintain the pan-blue's majority in the legislature.

The two parties should also "work together" when nominating a 2008 presidential candidate, according to the draft.

Central standing committee member Lien Sheng-wen (連勝文) supported the idea, saying that "the situation after the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections could be a chance for the KMT and the PFP to work together again."

KMT legislators Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), Shyu Jong-shyoung (徐中雄) and Ho Tsai-feng (侯彩鳳), however, said the future prospects of KMT legislators' should be the priority if a coalition is formed.

"Is the proposal advantageous to the two parties? What we should do now is to learn how to think from a southern viewpoint," Huang said.

Ho said she supported pan-blue unity, but the nomination of legislators in next year's legislative election should prioritize KMT members.

Failing to reach a consensus, Ma said the party would continue to discuss the issue, and would send the draft to the party's policy and party affairs committees for a final decision.

The party would then send its draft to the PFP, and the two parties would make a final decision together.

Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) proposed holding a KMT Affairs Conference to discuss the party's path after the Taipei and Kaohsiung elections.

In addition to appealing to the strong local consciousness among people in the south of the country, Lee suggested the party should decide on its presidential candidate as soon as possible.

During the four-hour long meeting, the committee spent more than three hours examining its election strategies, with many suggesting that Ma move the KMT headquarters to the south to build relationships with southern Taiwanese voters.

Ma agreed to visit other parts of the country more frequently, but declined to confirm whether or not he would accept the advice.

Responding to questions about a KMT-PFP party alliance, PFP Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said the party had no predetermined position.

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