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KMT chair expresses wishes to meet premier ahead of recall vote

KMT chair expresses wishes to meet premier ahead of recall vote

Opposing Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he hoped to meet Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) prior to October 13 when a recall motion to unseat the Taiwan's president will be voted on in the Legislative Yuan.
The chairman stressed with two weeks remaining before the vote, the two should have time to find a resolution to Taiwan's political deadlock and the mounting tensions between supporters and opponents of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
The premier insisted, however, that the KMT should show sincerity on the recall issue before he meets Ma, but the KMT legislative caucus stressed yesterday that it was impossible to stop deliberation of the recall motion as it had already been launched.
Observers are concerned that it will be nearly impossible for Ma and Su to reach any consensus because of their different political standpoints, with opinions on preconditions for holding the meeting having already been raised during a discussion held last Wednesday.
According to Minister without Portfolio Lin Si-yao, Su thought that if both sides persisted in stating their own opinions, the public would be disappointed and any meeting would be pointless.
Lin yesterday stressed that the KMT could not shake hands with the premier while firing at the ruling party through the recall motion, emphasizing that society is watching whether or not the KMT did its best to ease political tensions in a bid to show sincerity on the issue.
Lin, however, did not offer any hints of flexibility in the premier's attitude either.
KMT legislative caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung responded that according to law, once a recall motion was launched, it must be reviewed within 15 days and then put to a vote, meaning the process could not be stopped.
He suggested, however, that the recall motion being reviewed in the Legislature was proposed by People First Party Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang. The KMT, Tsai said, could suspend its version of the recall motion to show its sincerity and allow Ma and Su to discuss solutions to the current political stalemate.
Tsai further claimed that five to six Democratic Progressive Party legislators "have been considering" supporting the recall motion aimed at deposing Chen proposed by the KMT, but it was uncertain whether they would ultimately support it.
Tsai refused to disclose the names of the five to six legislators, noting only that most were young with one a senior member of the DPP.
He stressed that these DPP lawmakers would not publicly declare their support unless there were enough pan-green legislators in favor of the motion so that it could pass the two-thirds threshold required.
With the KMT and allied PFP holding only 112 seats in the 220-seat Legislature, the motion would need the support of another 35 independent and pan-green legislators to pass.
If it were to gain legislative approval, the motion would then be voted on by the electorate in a national referendum.
Tsai noted several DPP legislators are considering supporting the recall motion because they believe Chen's fate should be decided by the people and that passing the recall motion might persuade those who have taken to the streets to call for Chen's ouster to end their rallies, Tsai claimed.
The DPP legislative caucus responded, however, that DPP lawmakers would not suppport the recall motion.
DPP legislative caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said that Tsai's claim aimed to disunite the DPP, and he claimed some KMT lawmakers were considering withdrawing support for the recall motion to end political infighting and shift the spotlight onto issues related to people's livelihoods.