Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT legislators mull quitting party

BOMBSHELLS KMT lawmaker Chang Chang-tsair said that he was disillusioned with politics while colleague Lee Sen-zong said he was thinking about joining the DPP

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday said they are considering withdrawing from the party or the KMT caucus over the loss of their legislative nominations or disagreement with caucus ideals.

KMT Legislator Lee Sen-zong (李顯榮) told reporters yesterday that he was among those thinking of leaving the party.

"Because of our fundamental differences, either the caucus leaves or we [Lee and several other KMT legislators] leave. It is very simple," Lee said.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) reported yesterday that at least six KMT lawmakers who failed to secure the party's nomination for next year's legislative election or who complained about unfair treatment in the primary are thinking about leaving the KMT or becoming independent from the KMT caucus.

The six legislators include Lee, Ko Chun-hsiung (柯俊雄), Chang Chang-tsair (張昌財), Chen Chao-rung (陳朝容) and Lin Cheng-feng (林正峰) the Liberty Times reported.

When asked whether he may join the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Lee said he was considering the possibility.

"If [KMT presidential candidate] Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] likes us, we will stay. If he doesn't, we will say goodbye [to the KMT]," he said.

Lee skipped the KMT's primary against Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who is regarded as Ma's protege.

Lee said he would seek reelection in Tamsui, Taipei County, even though Wu is also running for a legislative post there.

When approached by reporters yesterday, Chang said he felt disillusioned by politics.

"I want to leave politics because I have seen enough of its ugly side. I am very disappointed," he said.

Chen yesterday also confirmed to the press that he is considering leaving the KMT caucus, but he dismissed media speculation that he, Ko and Chang were planning on leaving the caucus together.

Lin dismissed the Liberty Times report yesterday, while Ko was unavailable for comment.

KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said the party valued the legislators' opinions very much, and has been trying to dissuade them from leaving the party. Su said KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and Ma had already talked to Lee, and would continue to negotiate with him and other legislators.

"We are making a last effort to dissuade them from leaving the party, and hoping that they won't do something that will only please our opponents," Su said.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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