Presidential Office denies Wang meeting plan

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 04, 2013 - Page 3

The Presidential Office yesterday denied that a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would be held to resolve the political rift within the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) amid calls for their reconciliation.

“The Presidential Office does not have a plan to hold such a meeting. President Ma and Speaker Wang will meet each other at the Double Ten Day celebration event,” Presidential Office spokesperson Li Chia-fei (李佳霏) said.

The KMT yesterday also said it had not heard about any plans for a meeting between the president and the legislative speaker.

Ma and Wang have not met since the Special Investigation Division (SID) accused Wang on Sept. 6 of improper lobbying on behalf of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), which led the KMT to revoke Wang’s membership — a move that could cost him his seat as a legislator-at-large and the speakership.

Wang took a leave of absence from the Presidential Office’s monthly meeting last month, where he would have met Ma, citing that he was to preside over a legislative session.

The president has said that he would respect Wang by addressing him as “Speaker Wang” at public events while the legal battle between the KMT, of which Ma is chairman, and Wang over his membership and the speakership continue.

As the head of the preparatory committee for the Double Ten National Day ceremony on Oct. 10, Wang is scheduled to attend the event and meet with Ma. According to the seating arrangement in previous ceremonies, first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) will sit between Ma and Wang at the event.

Even though KMT heavyweights, including former party chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and Lien Chan (連戰), have offered to help resolve the issue and bring Ma and Wang closer together, KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said there are no plans for a Ma-Wang meeting.