The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday agreed to team up for the Jan. 13 legislative elections to maximize the number of seats they win, but did not reach a consensus on forming a joint ticket for the presidential election — a move the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) described as a blatant divvying up of political spoils.
KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and TPP Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) issued a joint statement at 11am after a closed-door meeting that lasted nearly one-and-a-half hours.
Both agreed to engage in democratic reforms to avoid a winner-take-all “democratic dictatorship,” in which one party enjoys an absolute majority in the legislature.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
To ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, the two parties would aim to reinstate cross-strait dialogue in accordance with the Constitution and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), and based on the principles of reciprocity, dignity and goodwill, they said.
Energy sources should be developed in a sustainable and fiscally responsible manner with a view to safeguarding national security, they said.
The functions of the Legislative Yuan should be reinforced by requiring the president to give a state-of-the-nation address and listen to suggestions from lawmakers, they said, adding that the premier should be confirmed through a majority vote in the legislature.
Discussions over other key issues would continue in subsequent meetings, they said.
However, the two parties have yet to work out a deal on how to put their respective presidential candidates on the ballot.
“The purpose of today’s meeting is to lay out the goals we would all work toward in the next few months. Given the limited time we have, we mainly addressed the vision and campaign pledges that we have in common and goals we aim to reach in the upcoming legislative election,” the statement said.
Chu said he, Ko and New Taipei City Mayor and KMT presidential candidate Hou You-yi (侯友宜) would quickly find time to meet again to settle who would run as president and vice president.
“We are entering a new phase of negotiations between political parties, in which Hou would be included as well. All the previously discussed options are no longer valid,” Chu said.
The two parties would negotiate whether Ko would be invited to publicly endorse KMT legislative candidates in political rallies after they finalize presidential candidates on the ballot.
Asked whether the KMT agrees with the TPP’s proposal that no political party should secure more than 50 percent of the seats in the legislature, Chu said even if the KMT takes more than half of the legislative seats, it would work with other opposition parties.
Ko said it is inappropriate to finalize any decision without Hou being present.
“I respect the KMT’s opinions on whether we should have a Ko-Hou ticket or a Hou-Ko ticket, but any arrangement should be made in a fair and mutually acceptable manner,” Ko added.
The DPP said that the KMT-TPP meeting serves as nothing more than a public display of how the two parties would divide power and positions should they rule the country.
“Ko met with the KMT today and had a secret meeting with independent candidate Terry Gou (郭台銘) on Sunday. He can change his tune quickly as long as he has something to gain politically. Ko’s lack of political convictions is astonishing,” DPP spokesman Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) said.
New Power Party spokesperson Yu Chia-chien (余佳蒨) said that the KMT and the TPP are known for associating with politician with links to organized crime and have nominated candidates who have leaked confidential security information to other countries or who advocate unification with China.
The public should not entrust them with the task of running the country, she said.
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