Mon, Nov 11, 2002 - Page 1 News List

President looks for cooperative mayor

CAMPAIGN Vote for a man who knows how to get along with the central government, unlike Ma Ying-jeou, Chen Shui-bian told Taipei voters yesterday

By Sandy Huang and Ko Shu-Ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) asked Taipei residents to support DPP candidate Lee Ying-Yuan (李應元) who knew how to cooperate with the central government, rather than the incumbent Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who preferred to work in opposition.

Chen also pointed out that Ma has yet to give a clear undertaking that he will finish a second term as mayor were he to win, rather than abandoning the people of Taipei less than halfway through his term to run in the 2004 presidential election.

"Should [Taipei residents] vote for someone who only wants to be a four-month mayor or someone who is sure to attend to his mayoral duties for a full four-year mayoral tenure?" Chen said at a rally for Lee late yesterday.

Chen also lashed out again at Ma's proposal to use Sungshan Domestic Airport as a base for direct cross-strait flights.

Chen said that such a policy would put the nation's security in jeopardy.

"As the nation's president, I can't be like Ma, who is willing to put national security concerns aside and thinks such an issue is not important," Chen said.

Chen called on the public not to let down its guard against China, which still has 400 missiles targeted on Taiwan, threatening the safety of Taiwan's 23 million people.

Following Saturday's televised debate between Lee and Ma, Chen took part in a three-hour street procession with Lee earlier yesterday.

Ma yesterday attended the openings of the campaign headquarters for his KMT comrades Chang Teng-fan (張鄧芳), Chiang Nai-hsin (蔣乃辛), Chen Chin-chi (陳進棋) and Chen Cheng-chung (陳政忠), whom are all running for the Taipei City Council.

Prior to the street procession, Lee made an appearance at Taipei City Council candidate Chen Cheng-teh's (陳正德) campaign headquarters opening, where Lee talked about a second debate with Ma, which has yet to be scheduled.

"I think the focus of the second debate should be on city governance, moral integrity and the sense of identification with this land," Lee said.

Lee said that these two latter issues were just as important as candidates' visions for Taipei's development in selecting a mayor for the nation's capital.

Ma however though that the issues should not be included in the second debate.

"I don't think it is a good thing to digress in our debating topics away from city governance-related issues," Ma said.

"I am perplexed about why Lee wants to talk about moral integrity during the debate, a matter which I think has no relation to city governance," Ma said.

"And to the issue of national identification, the fact that we are both running for Taipei City mayor -- doesn't that demonstrate that we've already recognized this land."

Meanwhile, KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday both stumped for their respective candidates in the Kaohsiung mayoral and city councilor elections.

Lien took the opportunity to dismiss speculation that KMT candidate Huang Jun-ying (黃俊英) is a DPP supporter at heart while Soong criticized the Chen administration for its planned security checks on certain government officials, painting it as an exercise in "green terror."

The checks have been suggested in the wake of a number of national security officials defecting to China.

Participating in a forum held for KMT City Council candidates at a military housing compound in Tsoying, Kaohsiung City yesterday, Lien told compound dwellers -- most of whom are KMT supporters -- that Huang is a 100 percent pure pan-blue camper.

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