Fri, Sep 30, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Soong remains confident about his signature drive

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday reiterated his determination to run for the presidency and expressed confidence that he would be able to collect 1 million signatures.

In an interview with CCTV, Soong said his petition was proceeding smoothly, but declined to reveal the number of signatures collected so far.

“I’m confident about the petition. I will register my presidential candidacy in November and I am determined to join the presidential election. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time seeking financial support and finding a running mate,” he said.

The 69-year-old returned to the political spotlight again after he announced in July he would run for the presidency. He vowed to collect 1 million signatures in a presidential petition — far more than the 257,695 required (1.5 percent of the eligible voters in the previous legislative elections) and said he would not join the race if he failed to reach that goal.

The PFP has said more than 40,000 signatures were collected on Sept. 22, the first day the petition was available.

Soong yesterday refused to reveal the number of signatures collected so far, but insisted he was happy with the result.

“We are satisfied with the result so far, but it is unnecessary to reveal the exact number … I will run for the presidency. I will not join the legislative election and I will not be included in the legislator-at-large list,” he said.

When asked whether he will participate in the Double Ten National Day Ceremony on Oct. 10, Soong said he would attend the event to pay tribute to the Republic of China, while shrugging off speculation that he might meet President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at the occasion.

“I will definitely attend the ceremony … and I don’t think President Ma will discuss cooperation between the KMT and the PFP with me during the ceremony,” he said.

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