Tue, May 29, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Opposition leaders await invitation from president

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The People First Party (PFP) and New Party yesterday said they had yet to receive an official invitation from the Presidential Office to participate in a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and opposition party leaders.

On Sunday evening, Ma called former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who had been elected chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) earlier in the day, to congratulate him and also extended an invitation for a meeting with opposition leaders, Presidential Office spokesperson Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said on Sunday.

Ma wishes to meet with the leaders to discuss matters of state and push for “rational dialogue” on public policy, Fan Chiang said.

Su’s office yesterday confirmed the phone conversation had taken place, but said the new chairman would wait and see before -deciding to meet Ma.

However, PFP spokesperson Wu Kun-yu (吳崑玉) said yesterday that the PFP had not as yet received any invitation, and whether PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) would attend the meeting is an issue to be discussed once the party receives an invitation.

PFP legislative caucus convener Thomas Lee (李桐豪) said that as far as he knew, the PFP had yet to be invited, adding that if Ma did hold a meeting with opposition party leaders and invited the PFP, the party was willing to talk about issues that were “within reason.”

“President Ma says he wishes to talk about things with opposition leaders, but what does he want to talk about? Is it on the general direction the country is going, from the vantage point of the president, or something small? We simply don’t know,” Lee said.

The problem is how to avoid any meeting turning into political manipulation, Lee said.

Meanwhile, New Party chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) said the party had not yet received an invitation to the meeting, but confirmed that if the New Party received an invitation, he would certainly attend.

As for what topics would be discussed during the meeting, Yok said there was as yet nothing to comment on. He added he would discuss it with party members once an invitation is received.

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