Sat, Mar 28, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Top KMT, DPP leaders join final push for Da-an

DA-AN BY-ELECTION President Ma Ying-jeou showed up to urge public support for the KMT candidate in the wake of the party's defeat in Miaoli

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Leading political figures from the two major parties yesterday came out in support of their candidates for the legislative by-election in Taipei's Da-an District (大安) today.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) visited Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Chiang Nai-shin's (蔣乃辛) campaign headquarters, marking his first public endorsement of Chiang.

“The KMT would definitely lose [the elections] if the party and the pan-blue camp split ... We should learn our lessons from history and avoid making the same mistakes,” Ma said.

KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) also called for a pan-blue unity ahead of the by-election and urged supporters to vote for ­Chiang over another pan-blue contender — independent candidate Yao Li-ming (姚立明), who has the backing of the New Party.

The Da-an District has long been a pan-blue stronghold, but the KMT's defeat in the Miaoli legislative by-election earlier this month prompted the party to increase its efforts in the Da-an by-­election campaign.

Ma, who had previously refrained from attending Chiang's campaign activities, finally joined other KMT heavyweights yesterday in soliciting support for the party's candidate.

The president, however, did not attend the election-eve party last night.

Wu said the party understood the pressure the president faces in participating in campaign events, but added that Ma's visit to Chiang's campaign headquarters was enough to attract the support of voters.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) spent the last day of campaign calling for support in a motorcade. Accompanying Chou was former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (?}), who urged voters to help the DPP gain one more seat in the legislature by voting for Chou today.

The KMT-dominated legislature does not need another KMT legislator, Hsu said, adding that only by sending a DPP candidate to the legislature could the opposition parties gain more strength in balancing the power structure in the Legislative Yuan.

Other top DPP figures, including former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), also attended Chou's election-eve party to solicit support for him.

The by-election is being held to fill the seat left vacant by former KMT legislator Diane Lee (李慶安), who resigned when it was discovered she had dual citizenship.

Seven candidates are competing for the Da-an legislative seat.

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