Minister says that pan-blues can not jointly nominate legislators-at-large

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sun, Jun 27, 2004 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party can not jointly nominate candidates for legislator-at-large positions in the year-end legislative elections, a Ministry of the Interior official said yesterday.

Vice Minister of the Interior Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) said yesterday that as long as the party that a candidate represents still exists, a party's vote totals -- and calculations of seats won -- must be calculated independently of any other parties.

According to Lee, the ministry considered similar issues when the parties making up the pan-blue alliance earlier considered merging. However, Lee pointed out that an alliance is not the same thing as a merger.

Commenting on the possibility of an electoral alliance that might be formed among the KMT, the PFP and the New Party, Lee said that unless the parties forming an alliance register together as a single political party, the parties that now exist can only be considered as independent entities.

"If the alliance doesn't register with the Ministry of the Interior as a new political party, all existing political parties within this pan-blue alliance will still officially exist," Lee said.

Lee also said that the alliance is simply a kind of informal cooperation among political parties, and therefore there is no need for the parties to register with the ministry.

"Thus, legal issues relating to an alliance wouldn't apply here," Lee said.

"As the situation regarding the possible merger has changed, the counting of ballots and the apportioning of seats in the legislative elections have to be compeleted on the legal basis that all of these parties exist independently," Lee said.

Earlier this month, the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (無黨團結聯盟, NSU), a new political party formed by independent legislators, registered with the ministry.

Although the group's name suggests that it is an alliance instead of a party, the ministry has so far not voiced any objection to its name.

According to the Civic Organization Law (人民團體法), a political party is required to have an ideology for democracy and an involvement in civic participation in politics.