Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Wang Jin-pyng plays down reports over 2008 election

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Amid speculation on Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) intention to compete with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for the party's nomination in the 2008 presidential election, the two met yesterday, but both denied discussing the issue.

Approached by the media after the meeting, Wang urged the press not to indulge in groundless speculation about candidates for the presidential election.

"Even though there will be someone who will express the intention to run in the 2008 presidential election, that person will not be the one everyone had in mind," Wang said yesterday in front of his residence.

Speculation was rampant among local media outlets that remarks made by Wang on Wednesday night, in an interview with SET-TV indicated that he intended to seek the nomination himself.

During the interview, Wang said that there was no guarantee that Ma would be the only candidate from the KMT seeking the party's nomination.

Wang and Ma yesterday denied exchanging ideas on the issue, saying that the meeting was about pan-blue cooperation between the KMT and the People First Party (PFP) in the wake of the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections.

Wang said he could stay on in the Legislative Yuan in the next legislative session, and that the time was not yet right to think about whether he would pair with Ma in the presidential election.

Meanwhile, in response to questions about the party's handling of former KMT member and Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (許財利), Ma said that the party drew up a plan last week and will take action against Hsu soon.

Hsu was sentenced to seven years in jail by the Keelung District Court on Sept. 19 for trying to use his position to sell a plot of land to the Keelung City Government's bus department.

In response to a decision by a group of KMT legislative aides to initiate a recall motion against Hsu, KMT Spokesman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) said the party would not prevent members from supporting the motion.

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