Fri, Aug 19, 2011 - Page 3 News List

New Party challenges Soong ‘collaboration’

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming speaks at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) yesterday challenged People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for possibly collaborating with the opposition in January’s legislative election, calling for pan-blue unity amid a recent rift between the PFP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Soong, who said the PFP’s participation in the legislative election aimed to push for a “quiet revolution” that would end bipartisan confrontation in the legislature, could be planning to work with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to form a third force, Yok said, while urging Soong to explain whether he would work with Lee or the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in a bid to re-establish PFP influence.

“It would be impossible for Soong to push for a second quiet revolution with a small legislative caucus, so he should explain his plans. Would he lead the revolution as a presidential candidate, or seek to become a legislative speaker or premier in order to push for the revolution?” Yok asked at a press conference.

Yok raised the questions -yesterday after Soong ignored repeated KMT calls for cooperation and declared his determination to lead the PFP in obtaining enough seats in January’s legislative election to form a legislative caucus. He also indicated that he would join either the presidential election or the legislative election to boost support for the PFP.

Soong vowed to lead a “second quiet revolution” that would improve efficiency at the legislature and prioritize public needs.

The term “quiet revolution” was coined to describe the direct presidential elections and peaceful transition of power when former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP won the presidential election in 2000.

Yok challenged Soong’s recent criticism of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration and the KMT and said he was obligated to make his plan clear to pan-blue supporters if he decided to team up with Lee, a major advocate of Taiwan independence.

Opposition parties specualted that the KMT or even China were behind Yok’s comments.

Yok dismissed the speculation as groundless accusations, while pledging that the New Party would survive as a small political party.

The New Party will present its list of legislative nominations and it also seeks to obtain 5 percent of the vote for political parties in the legislative election to form a caucus, he said.

PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu (吳崑玉) shrugged off Yok’s challenge, saying that Soong has not met Lee since Lee’s birthday celebration in January.

“As a small party, the PFP works with parties that identify with our ideals to promote policies,” he said.

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