Fri, Nov 16, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Lee meets 'third force' members

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday that he would support a parliamentary system if the legislative electoral system were also changed.

"The parliamentary system works best, however, only if the electoral system is altered," Lee said.

As next year's legislative elections will be held under a "single-member" district system, Lee said that the newly elected legislators would most likely care more about regional issues than national ones. This must change, he said.

Lee made the remarks in response to questions from Jou Yi-cheng (周奕成), founder of the Third Society Party. Lee met members of the party and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative candidates at his home in Taipei City yesterday afternoon.

`moderate voices'

Lee, who serves as the spiritual leader of the TSU, has been urging the public to support a "third force," or moderate voices, in next year's legislative and presidential elections, to give a voice to the disadvantaged and the middle class.

Yesterday marked the first meeting between Lee and members of the "third force." The meeting came after the Third Society Party sent an open letter to Lee.

During the three-hour talks, Lee expressed his appreciation for the organization's enthusiasm and encouraged them to persist despite their financial difficulties and limited connections.

Jou said next year is a good time to push for constitutional reform as the new legislature will have been elected. He asked Lee to lead the push for reform to end bipartisan politics dominated by the Democratic Progressive Party and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

alliance

Chou also proposed joining with all "third force" parties after the elections to form a constitutional amendment alliance.

Lee, however, did not give a direct response to the proposals.

The talks did not touch on a merger or cooperation in the legislative elections. The Third Society Party said that they will nominate their own legislative candidates and run their own campaign.

As the nation will elect new leaders next year, Lee said the next leaders must be determined and sharp, especially in dealing with Chinese aggression.

Apart from China, Lee emphasized the importance of national identity and defense capability. Cross-strait relations must not be rushed, he said, adding that the government must take into account China's social changes when setting cross-strait policy.

While business tycoon Wang Yung-ching (王永慶) has urged the government to relax cross-strait policy and open the three direct links, Lee said that Taiwan and China can have as many direct links as possible as long as they are "nation to nation."

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