Thu, Oct 15, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Pan-green integration attempts appear to stumble

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

The future of pan-green integration in New Taipei City’s first electoral district yesterday appeared uncertain, with New Power Party (NPP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidates making conflicting statements about whether an agreement had been reached.

Author and NPP candidate Neil Peng (馮光遠) said a consensus had been reached in cross-party talks, with an Internet debate and televised “forum” to be held prior to polling to “integrate” his campaign with that of DPP candidate Lu Sun-ling (呂孫綾).

Whichever candidate had a lower level of support level — based on the integration poll — would be expected to withdraw from the race and throw their support to the other in the race against the incumbent, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇).

A debate and forum were necessary to allow voters to make an informed choice ahead of the integration poll, Peng said.

“[Lu] has purchased a lot of outdoor, radio and television advertisements, but we do not have the money for that,” he said.

The agreement was a compromise relative to his initial demand for three full debates, adding that a meeting was scheduled for today to discuss details, Peng said.

Integration in the district has been a major issue of contention between the two parties, which have generally sought to avoid competition between their legislative candidates.

Lu was quoted on the Chinese-language Web media New Talk site as saying that no consensus over integration has been reached.

Any encounter with Peng “does not necessarily have to be televised,” but should be transparent and “friendly,” Lu said, adding there was no precedent for a debate between legislative candidates.

In related news, NPP Hsinchu City legislative candidate Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said there has been no progress on integration in his district, the only other area where the NPP and DPP are going head-to-head.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) had yet to respond to his demand for a debate to be held before any integration polling, Chiu said.

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