People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday said he would consider running for president if he thinks the two major parties’ policies have been “hijacked by fundamentalists.”
The PFP held a press conference in Taipei to announce its five legislative candidates for the Jan. 16 elections. Three of the candidates are former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, including Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), who just withdrew from the KMT earlier this week.
Soong likened the KMT to an apothecary that “sells counterfeit medicine.”
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“It is not that the PFP has turned ‘green,’” Soong said, addressing criticism that the party has aligned itself with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). “It is that we can no longer say for sure whether the KMT is lan [藍, blue] or just lan [爛, rotten].”
The PFP has always been Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) disciple and a resolute follower of former president Chiang Ching-kuo’s (蔣經國) path in safeguarding the Constitution of the Republic of China and Taiwanese democracy, as well as pushing for cross-strait reconciliation, Soong said.
“The PFP is willing to stand by good KMT candidates, but if the KMT cannot break away from [President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inner circle], we have no other choice but to field our own,” the chairman said.
When asked whether he would run for president, Soong said he would consider the possibility if the public calls for it, but added that it was not yet time to make a decision and he would continue to keep an eye on the KMT’s and the DPP’s policies.
Separately yesterday, KMT Legislator Cheng Ru-fen (鄭汝芬) of Changhua County said she would turn down the party’s legislative nomination. She is the seventh KMT lawmaker who has decided not to run for another term.
Cheng’s announcement came hours after KMT Legislator Chang Chia-chun (張嘉郡) voiced her misgivings about KMT presumptive presidential nominee Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) cross-strait proposal of “one China, common interpretation” and threatened to withdraw from the party.
“Public opinion has changed after the nine-in-one elections in November last year. The KMT would be going against the tide of public opinion if it does not undertake reforms,” Cheng said.
Hung, when asked about the show of disapproval from several KMT lawmakers, said she would work on improving communication with lawmakers.
Hung’s spokesperson, Jack Yu (游梓翔), said that the deputy legislative speaker’s team has been communicating with party comrades about her cross-strait policy.
He said that after talking to some party members, they “have grasped the content of the policy and believe that Hung’s cross-strait policy reflects Taiwanese mainstream opinion.”
The policy is a demand that “Beijing respect the existence of the Republic of China as a fact, based on the ‘1992 consensus,’” Yu said.
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
Taiwan on Friday accused China of seeking to use the Honduran election to “create controversy” and undermine Taiwan’s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Honduras’ relations with Taipei. Honduras’ main left-wing opposition party, the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), led by ousted former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, has said that if it wins November’s presidential election it would seek to “readjust” the country’s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 15 UN member countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has already warned Honduras not
TESTING THE WATERS: Making the considerations public a day after a Biden-Xi phone call indicates that the US is testing China’s reaction, a think tank head said A Financial Times report that the US is considering allowing Taiwan to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington to feature the name “Taiwan” highlighted Washington’s “two-pronged” approach to China, a researcher said yesterday. The report on Friday said that Washington might allow the nation to change the office’s name to “Taiwan Representative Office.” The report came after US President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) by telephone for the first time since February. A White House readout of the call said that “the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both