Mon, Dec 06, 2004 - Page 1 News List

TSU, KMT draw thousands to rallies

ELECTION CAMPAIGN Cooler temperatures did not keep away supporters of the two parties, which held large rallies within blocks of one another yesterday

By Jewel Huang and Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTERS

A group of pan-blue alliance supporters shout ''defend the Republic of China and save Taiwan'' in front of a huge national emblem placed on the ground at a campaign rally in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday held simultaneous large-scale campaign parades in Taipei, with no major clashes between supporters of the two rival camps.

Both parties claimed to have attracted more than 100,000 supporters each to the events.

The TSU event called for a new constitution for the yet-to-be-rectified country, while the KMT outlined its campaign as a battle between two groups of people -- one trying to defend the Republic of China (ROC) and the other determined to terminate it.

"Taiwan's current name and Constitution bind Taiwan and prevent Taiwan from becoming a normal country," former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said.

Only by solving this "fast knot" does Taiwan has a bright future in building a nation, he said.

Lee also urged voters to support the TSU and help it outshine its rivals in this Saturday's legislative elections, stressing that the TSU is an indispensable political party for Taiwan to build its own country and will provide steadfast and reliable oversight of the government.

Lee made the statements in a massive campaign rally held on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office yesterday evening.

"Although the TSU only obtained 13 legislative seats in the previous election, its steadfast stance in guarding Taiwan proves the TSU is the only opposition power that truly cares about Taiwan's future," Lee said.

Opposition Party

"The TSU is not a decoration of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The TSU is an opposition party with stances and viewpoints," Lee said. "Although the TSU supports President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), it will also oversee the government and try its best to carry out the people's wishes."

"The TSU is the most important power in the legislature and is the agent of the interests of the Taiwanese people," he said.

Meanwhile, Lee also reiterated that the ROC does not exist and that Taiwan should stop using the ROC's Constitution and instead form a new one.

This demonstrates that Taiwan-centered consciousness has reached a new high from the name-change rally held last September, the 228 Hand-in-Handy Rally this February, to Chen's re-election victory, and to today's rally, Lee said.

Participants gave Lee a standing ovation when he entered the rally, crying out "I love you!" and waving thousands of campaign flags and placards.

Lee's daughter, Annie Lee (李安妮), criticized the pan-blue camp -- the Chinese Nationalist party (KMT), the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party -- as political parties that disguise themselves behind a mask of protecting Taiwan by overseeing the DPP government.

"In fact, they oppose Taiwan. They exist for opposing [Taiwan] and are for China, which is not worthy of the people's support," she said.

Senior Presidential Adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) and World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI) Chairman Ng Chiau-tong (黃昭堂) also made speeches at the rally. Several DPP candidates also showed up at the rally to canvass participants for votes.

Hosts Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) and Chen Ying-tsan (陳英燦), TSU Kaohsiung City councilors, rallied the crowd raising the atmosphere to a pitch, repeatedly asking "what is our country's name?" and "which country do you belong to?"

The audience responded loudly and enthusiastically with "Taiwan."

At the end of the rally, the TSU hosts unveiled five new national flags to the participants. Taiwan's national flag should be chosen by referendum, they said.

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