The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday denied that its row with the People First Party (PFP) had caused a split among pan-blue supporters overseas, saying it was normal for overseas groups to organize separate election campaign activities.
According to a story published yesterday in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), an indication by PFP Chairman James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) that he might run in the presidential election has sparked dispute among overseas pan-blue supporters, with a group of Soong backers splitting from a pan-blue group in Washington originally established to support President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).
The Soong backers reportedly organized separate campaign activities
The dispute allegedly arose after Lin Yuan (林遠), director of the Ma-Wu support group, ran an ad in a local newspaper on July 30 saying Soong had caused a pan-blue split and urging him to work with the KMT.
His move drew criticism from members who backed Soong and the PFP, the report said.
KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Chuang Po-chun (莊伯仲) yesterday dismissed the report, saying it was normal for overseas groups to organize different activities and it was not evidence of a split in the pan-blue camp.
“It is common for overseas supporters, because of where they live and their different backgrounds, to organize or participate in separate campaign activities ... It has nothing to do with a split,” he said.
He also dismissed the story’s claim that the KMT bribed overseas voters by having Lin’s support group organize free lunch banquets for supporters every Saturday this month.
“The KMT lacks sufficient resources to do such a thing. It is impossible for us to give that much to an overseas support group,” he said.
To boost support for Ma in the US, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), executive director of Ma’s campaign office, will visit the US next month. Chuang said King would join various campaign activities held by different support groups.