PFP denies seeking legislative seats in return for Soong pullout

The China Post news staff

The People First Party (PFP) denied yesterday that the party has been seeking secret negotiations with the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) for PFP Chairman James Soong to withdraw his presidential candidacy in exchange for KMT concession to the PFP for legislative seats. Responding to a report in mass-circulation China Times that the PFP had asked for a guarantee of 11 seats in the Legislative Yuan in exchange for Soong’s voluntary pullout from the Jan. 14 presidential election, PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu stressed that there are no under-the-table negotiations on any specific terms between the two parties. The newspaper reported that the PFP has been negotiating the deal with the KMT through the mediation of Hualien County Magistrate Fu Kun-chi.

But the talks have been on the brink of collapse because the KMT believe the demands from the PFP are infeasible, said the China Times report. PFP spokesman Wu said yesterday that Soong would not turn his back on the supporters who had offered signatures to endorse his candidacy.

“It is a very heavy responsibility,” Wu said. “And those signatures are like carvings on one’s back.”

He said the PFP has started gathering media reports and individual people’s statements as evidence for possibly filing lawsuits against anyone making remarks to harm the party and its supporters.