Fri, Jan 11, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Legislative elections and referendums: KMT's call for pan-blue consolidation irks New Party

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

New Party legislators yesterday expressed outrage at the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) call for pan-blue voters to consolidate their support and back the KMT. They accused the KMT of trying to boost its own support at the expense of its ally the New Party.

"Voting for the New Party will not weaken the pan-blue camp's power. Pan-blue voters don't need to worry about a pan-blue split if they support the New Party," said KMT Legislator Joanna Lei (雷倩), who is running for the New Party in the legislative elections.

The KMT has been taking out campaign advertisements calling on pan-blue voters to throw their weight behind the KMT, saying that casting ballots for smaller parties would only be a waste of votes and help President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and the Democratic Progressive Party.

Lai and New Party legislator-at-large candidate Chou Yan-shan (周陽山) yesterday accused the KMT of trying to reduce the New Party's number of seats in the legislature.

They said the pan-blue camp would maintain a majority in the legislature even if the New Party attracted 5 percent of valid votes.

In response to the New Party's condemnation, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday said the ads were not targeted at any particular small party.

The KMT and New Party remained "brother parties," despite some disputes over the distribution of votes, Wu said.

"There's a 5-percent threshold for party votes, and not every party can pass that threshold. The KMT's advertising campaign is aimed at opposing the DPP and its chairman, Chen Shui-bian," Wu said at KMT headquarters in Taipei.

Former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) continued to urge pan-blue voters to consolidate their support and vote for the KMT.

"It would be a waste of ballots if they were split. Any waste of votes would only encourage the corrupt government," Lien said.

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