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PFP accuses KMT of trying to force it out of elections

PFP accuses KMT of trying to force it out of elections

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) The People First Party (PFP) on Monday accused the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) of "repeatedly and deliberately" spreading rumors that the two parties had been in talks since July to force it out of the presidential and legislative elections. In a statement, the PFP said the KMT would only have one purpose when negotiating deals -- to thoroughly eliminate the small opposition party from the Jan. 14 elections. "We have decided to go our own way," the PFP said in the statement, vowing to refuse to negotiate with any party -- either the KMT or the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) -- on issues related to the elections. The PFP was responding to a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News that the KMT was willing to discuss an election deal with the PFP until Nov. 25, the deadline for candidates to formally register their candidacies in the elections. The PFP, which was formed of mostly disaffected members of the KMT in the early 2000s, shares a similar support base with the ruling party. The KMT is concerned that PFP candidates could siphon away enough support from their own nominees, especially in the presidential race, to affect the outcome. PFP Chairman James Soong, a veteran politician who ran for the presidency as an independent in 2000 after splitting with the KMT, is mounting another presidential bid that could hurt the re-election chances of President Ma Ying-jeou, who is locked in a tight race with DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen. Concerns that Soong would play a spoiler role has led to speculation that the two parties were in talks to negotiate Soong's withdrawal from the race. On Sunday, the China Times reported that the PFP had asked the KMT for 11 legislative seats in exchange for Soong agreeing to pull out, but the PFP also denied it. Under no circumstances will Soong drop his campaign bid, PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu said. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-01-23 06:12 GMT+08:00