Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Ma campaigners promise to bring PRC multitude

IMPOSSIBLE? A group of China-based businessmen claimed 300,000 voters would return from China to vote for Ma, in spite of limited seats on flights

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

China-based businessmen who support Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) launched a campaign group yesterday, vowing to mobilize at least 300,000 China-based Taiwanese to return to Taiwan and vote for Ma in the March election.

"The support of Taiwanese businessmen for Ma will be crucial in the election. The more China-based Taiwanese businessmen cast their votes for Ma, the more likely Ma is to win the presidential election," the group's director, KMT Legislator Huang Lian-hua (黃良華), said at the launch in Taipei.

When asked to explain how 300,000 people would return from China to cast their votes given the limited seats on flights and other transport, KMT Mainland Affairs Division Director Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) said only that the party had close contacts with businessmen in China, and that it had experience in mobilizing voters from abroad from the 2004 presidential election.

When asked the same question, Huang said that the newly formed group might create a travel schedule for voters and their families to return to Taiwan at different times, all in time for the election.

A businessman at the event who requested anonymity said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had increased efforts to build contacts with groups of China-based businessmen.

He expressed skepticism about how many businessmen would come home to vote.

Addressing the event yesterday, Ma pledged to carry out his campaign policy of implementing cross-strait charter flights during weekends and expanding the scope of the small three links immediately after his inauguration on May 20 if elected.

He also promised to remove restrictions on financial investment in China and to sign economic cooperation and investment protection agreements with China to ensure the interests of Taiwanese operating businesses there.

"The Democratic Progressive Party has offered five noes: no convenience, no protection, no support, no opportunities and no dignity to China-based Taiwanese businessmen," Ma said. "My running mate Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and I are honest and will carry out our policies."

More than 400 China-based Taiwanese businessmen and KMT heavyweights, including Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), attended the event to support the Ma-Siew ticket.

Meanwhile, DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday unveiled his campaign logo, showing seven people standing hand-in-hand on top of the word "Taiwan."

Campaign director Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said that the image represented Hsieh's goal of promoting social reconciliation.

"Simple is powerful. The logo, with a blue-green Taiwan and people in the colors of the rainbow, highlights Hsieh's goal of leading the country toward social reconciliation and reform," Yeh told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

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Ma office files lawsuit against Hsieh

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