Tue, Aug 07, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT supports Wang running for speaker: Wu

DISAGREEMENT Wu Poh-hsiung's remarks came in the wake of reports that some party members were dissatisfied with Wang Jin-pyng's performance

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday said that Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would be the party's natural choice if the latter intended to seek re-election as legislative speaker.

Wu made the remarks after holding a one-hour meeting with Wang to put an end to intraparty bickering over the matter.

Wang said last Friday that Wu had invited him to be the first candidate in the KMT's line-up for legislators-at-large in the January polls and to run for legislative speaker when the new legislature is sworn in February.

But KMT Deputy Secretary-General Liao Feng-de (廖風德) denied that the party had made any promises to Wang, saying "Wang had read too much into what Wu said."

Wang's performance as speaker has been the subject of discontent within the KMT after failing to push the legislature to pass the amendment to the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission (中選會組織法) by refusing to call the guards whenever pan-green lawmakers staged protests.

Dissatisfied with Liao's comments, Tsai Tu-chin (蔡圖晉), head of the Kaohsiung County Industrial Association, threatened on Sunday to launch a campaign against KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

KMT lawmakers Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and Justin Chou (周守訓) also spoke in Wang's defense yesterday, saying it was unfair to blame Wang for the legislature's failure to pass the bill.

To clarify the matter, Wu said that both he and Ma were of the opinion that Wang should continue to lead the legislature.

"It's not easy to find someone who can do a better job than Wang," Wu said.

Wang said he told Wu he appreciated the offer but has yet to decide whether he would like to run as a KMT legislator-at-large.

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