Sat, Mar 10, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Lien admits to pushing Wang for party chairman

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Following the end of the registration period for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman by-election on Thursday, former chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday said he had tried to persuade Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to take on the post.

Lien made the comments after Acting Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) applied to enter the chairman by-election.

While Wang issued his support for Lien to take over the chairmanship after former chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) resigned over his indictment on corruption charges, Lien acknowledged yesterday that he had tried to persuade Wang to consider entering the by-election.

"Inviting Wang to serve as the chairman was an option and he would be the perfect candidate to promote party unity. But it didn't work out that way. We regret that fact," Lien said yesterday after attending an event held by the World League for Freedom and Democracy at The Grand Hotel.

Arriving at the hotel together, Lien and Wu denied having misunderstandings about the by-election during a private meeting on Tuesday.

"I urged Chairman Lien to take over as chairman, and I told him I would enter the election if he didn't want to do so. There were no disputes or misunderstandings," Wu said.

Also present at the event, Hung urged Wu to resign as acting chairman in order to create a fair election environment, while denying her decision had anything to do with Wang despite her overt public support for Wang over Ma for the presidential primary.

"I entered the election for all KMT members," Hung said.

Wu, who has been supportive of Ma, also denied entering the by-election on behalf of Ma, while calling for a healthy competition.

"The public should not hold negative views about the by-election. I also hope that we will not make the same mistakes as in the last chairmanship election, which had a negative impact on the party," Wu said.

Ma beat Wang in the last chairmanship election in 2005.

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