Wed, Dec 20, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Soong, Lien discuss blue cooperation

PRE-TRIP MEETING The PFP chairman met the former KMT leader to talk about nomination mechanisms for next year's legislative elections

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) met yesterday with his old running mate, former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰), to discuss pan-blue cooperation in the wake of the Taipei and Kaohsiung municipal elections.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), however, was a no-show.

Just over a week after announcing that he would quit politics in the wake of his poor showing in the Dec. 9 Taipei mayoral election, Soong said he decided to talk to Lien because they shared "deep concerns" about cooperation between the two parties.

"We hope that there will be a common mechanism for the nomination of the legislative and presidential elections, and through that mechanism the two parties can communicate with each other and respect each other's decisions," Soong said after a one-hour meeting at Lien's office.

Lien had expressed a wish to meet him to discuss several issues, including KMT-PFP cooperation and cross-strait relations, and so he went to see Lien before leaving for the US, Soong said.

Soong leaves today for the US. He said that PFP affairs and further discussion about inter-party cooperation would be handled by PFP Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生).

When asked whether he would meet Ma before leaving, the PFP leader said he had not excluded the possibility.

KMT spokesman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) said yesterday that Ma's tight schedule prevented him from attending the Lien-Soong meeting.

Ma has previously said that he would not discuss KMT-PFP cooperation with Soong until the KMT reaches consensus on the issue.

The KMT Central Standing Committee (CSC) discussed the possibility of forming a KMT-PFP coalition last week, but failed to reach a consensus.

The idea of forming a coalition emerged during a meeting between Ma and Soong on Dec. 1.

As many KMT CSC members disagree with the idea of negotiating with the PFP on nominations for next year's legislative elections, it would be difficult to pass a draft proposal on a coalition during today's CSC meeting, KMT Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) said.

Chiang joined the KMT's party affairs team to discuss the issue yesterday.

"We need some time to seek a consensus on the draft ? Many committee members hope to cooperate with the PFP first before forming a coalition," he said.

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