Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 3 News List

PFP criticizes DPP primary mechanism

SELECTIVE The DPP has designed its presidential primary in hopes of excluding pan-blue alliance supporters from influencing the party's selection of a candidate

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The People First Party (PFP) yesterday criticized the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) decision to adopt a "pan-blue voter exclusion" measure in public opinion polls to select its legislative candidates for the regional seats in December.

Adopting the measure, which the DPP expected would exclude about 50 percent of opposition pan-blue alliance supporters from participating in the DPP's public opinion polls, would only "lead to greater restrictions on the party's future development," PFP spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said.

The DPP's Central Standing Committee approved the measure on Wednesday during its weekly meeting, with the goal of ensuring that its legislative candidates would be loyal by preventing pan-blue voters from influencing the selection process.

In accordance with its primary mechanism, the DPP will select candidates via a composite election, with the results of public opinion polls counting for 70 percent of the final tally and direct voting by party members counting for 30 percent.

"The fact that the DPP chooses to listen to only half of Taiwan's 23 million people indicates that the ruling party lacks a broad vision and an open mind to embrace the general public," said Lee, adding that the ruling party hoped to nominate candidates loyal to it alone.

"It is really an unbecoming practice," he said.

Taiwan Solidarity Union legislative caucus whip Tseng Tsahn-deng (曾燦燈) said that the DPP's decision to exclude pan-blue voters might affect the party's image,since the measure was designed to screen out those blindly loyal to the opposition party in upcoming primary elections, at which time it would become clear whether or not the measure was beneficial.

Meanwhile, Lee, commenting on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-PFP cooperation ahead of the December legislative election, said that both parties had reached an initial agreement that only a single, best qualified candidate from either party -- as determined by negotiations -- would run in each constituency.

Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), a PFP lawmaker and director of the party's policy center, said later yesterday that his party placed a high degree of importance on a promise made by former KMT acting Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) that the KMT will live up to its pledge by further cooperating with the PFP if he is elected party chairman in tomorrow's by-election.

If Wu really means what he said, it would be very helpful in forging further KMT-PFP collaboration in the coming legislative election, Chang said.

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