Fri, Apr 20, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT denies Ma made election deal with PFP's Soong

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

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) camp and KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) yesterday rebutted reports that the party had reached an agreement with the People First Party (PFP) to give it precedence in 10 electorates in the year-end legislative election.

Shortly before last December's Taipei mayoral election, Ma, who was KMT chairman at the time, and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) held a secret meeting, allegedly to discuss KMT-PFP cooperation in the mayoral election and consider nominating candidates together for future elections.

"The consensus of the meeting was that the two parties would nominate candidates together through a common nomination mechanism, but no deal was made for the KMT to give precedence to the PFP," Wu said yesterday.

Director of Ma's presidential campaign office Chan Chun-po (詹春柏), who attended the Ma-Soong meeting, said the two parties had only reached a general consensus that the KMT and PFP should cooperate, without deciding on details or signing an agreement on nominating candidates.

"I was the secretary-general of the KMT, and I would know about the agreements," he said.

Speculation was strengthened on Tuesday that the KMT-PFP cooperation was on the rocks after the PFP allowed an amendment to the President and Vice President Election and Recall Laws (總統副總統選舉罷免法) to clear the legislature's Procedure Committee. Four PFP members did not attend the vote, which gave the green camp the majority.

The amendment, which stipulates that anyone found guilty of corruption in a first trial should be barred from filing a presidential or vice presidential bid, seems to target Ma, who has been indicted on charges of embezzling state funds.

KMT Spokesman Su Jun-ping (蘇俊賓) said many party supporters were concerned about the state of pan-blue unity, adding that the party would continue to communicate with the PFP.

PFP lawmakers yesterday afternoon held a caucus meeting to determine the party's stance on the amendment, concluding that the KMT must live up to what it said Ma had promised Soong.

"The agreement said that the KMT-PFP alliance will nominate at least ten PFP candidates in the year-end legislative election and the PFP will have three seats in the legislator-at-large lineup," said Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國), a PFP legislative caucus whip.

"Among a total of 73 electoral districts, it's not outrageous that PFP should have 10 of them," he said.

Except for six lawmakers who are abroad, the remaining 15 PFP legislators will show up at today's legislative session if the KMT recognizes the agreement.

"But if the KMT refuses to admit the agreement, I am afraid that many of our colleagues might be tied up with affairs in their constituencies," Feng said.

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