Tue, Jan 24, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Pan-blue camp's mayoral hopefuls crowding Taipei

WORDPLAY The Chinese language media have already dubbed the six-person line-up ``How are you, Chiang Kai-shek?'' in a play on their names

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) yesterday announced that he intends to enter the year-end Taipei mayoral election, pushing the number of pan-blue aspirants to six.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) recently announced that he planned on running, while former Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) chief Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) returned to the KMT in a bid to seek the party's nomination for the election.

KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), who is currently in the US, has said that he will not be absent from the party primary.

KMT legislators John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) and Diane Lee (李慶安) are also likely to announce they will run for the post shortly after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Chinese-language media have dubbed the six KMT hopefuls "Chiang Chung-cheng ni hao ye" (蔣中正你好耶), a play on words that combines characters or approximate sounds from each of their names into the sentence, "How are you, Chiang Kai-shek?"

Tsai yesterday bragged about his Taiwanese roots, saying that he is the only candidate who is a native son who comes from the grassroots level of the capital city and has expertise in international management and finance.

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) is also likely to announce his bid to run for the post shortly after the Lunar New Year holiday. An ad in yesterday's edition of the United Daily News, a pro-unification Chinese-language newspaper, urged the electorate to refrain from supporting Soong.

The half-page ad, posted by someone who claimed to belong to "the middle voters," insinuated that Soong is sabotaging a pan-blue camp merger.

"We, the middle voters, are calling on the public to use your ballots to drive pan-blue political figures who turn a blind eye to the unification of the pan-blue camp out of the political arena," the ad read.

Likening Soong to Yuan Shih-kai (袁世凱), a warlord in the early 1900s who overthrew the young Republic of China government and declared himself emperor, the ad implies that Soong fancies himself the president so much that he has developed Alzheimer's disease and completely forgets what he has said a minute ago.

"If you don't reign in your horses and you continue to ignore the unification of the pan-blue camp, the founding father, former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正) and his son Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) will never forgive you!" the ad read.

Soong said that he would not be discouraged by a single ad.

PFP Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) insinuated that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was behind the ad.

"Whenever there is an election, there is someone deliberately causing alienation. We won't be surprised if the DPP spent money running this ad as part of its attempt to sow discord," Chang said. "Instead of spending so much money placing the ad to tarnish a candidate, we'd like to see them donate the money to charity."

PFP caucus whip Lin Hui-kuan (林惠官) condemned whomever placed the ad and said the person responsible should do something more meaningful.

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