Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 3 News List

No PFP alliance planned: Tsai

RUMORS:The ‘China Times’ reported that there had been discussions within the DPP about offering James Soong the premiership, apparently at the behest of Lee Teng-hui

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has no plan to join forces with the People First Party (PFP) in next year’s elections, DPP Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.

“Up until now, it has been all media speculation. The DPP has not had any internal discussions on such matters,” Tsai said during a campaign stop.

The remarks came amid signs of a possible split in the pan-blue camp, with PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) planning to field at least 20 candidates from his party, potentially including himself, in the legislative elections in January.

The leader of the PFP, which previously maintained close relations with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was reportedly angered by a lack of cooperation from the KMT regarding legislative nominations.

Elaborating on Tsai’s remarks, DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said speculation about a joint attempt to bring down President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration was all guesswork.

A report in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday quoted a former DPP official as saying there had been internal party discussions on inviting Soong to be premier if Tsai were elected.

The decision was apparently made at the behest of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Soong’s one-time mentor who supports the DPP candidate, the report said.

The DPP denied any such discussions had taken place.

“It’s groundless and baseless. I have never heard of such a plan and there are no proposals for cooperation” between Tsai, Lee and Soong, the DPP spokesperson said. “I have no idea how the rumors of Soong [being invited to be premier] started.”

Chen nevertheless said the door remained open for cooperation between the two parties if the DPP wins the elections next year.

“It’s normal that political parties work together on policies or other matters in democratic societies,” he said.

Tsai was in Hualien County yesterday, where she played up her election prospects and those of the DPP’s local legislative nominee, Lai Kun-cheng (賴坤成).

Campaigning in the aftermath of remarks pledging to attach greater importance to the agricultural industry, Tsai told workers at a fish farm that she would provide more assistance to developing “local economies.”

Asked whether there were any new developments regarding her running mate, Tsai said she had some names in mind, but a final decision would not be made for some time.

Tsai is expected to announce her vice presidential candidate sometime before Aug. 28, when the party congress meets in what will be seen as a joint campaign event for the presidential ticket.

“Picking a running mate is an extremely delicate process. I need a little more time to think and I will make an announcement when the time is right,” Tsai said.

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