Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday warned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to be too optimistic about its prospects in the Taipei mayoral election in November, saying the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had yet to launch what he expects to be a “mudslinging campaign.”
In comments published in Neo Formosa Weekly, which resumed publication in electronic format in September last year, Chen said it was unfair to say that the DPP’s candidate for Taipei City mayor, Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), and its candidate for the soon-to-be-renamed Sinbei City, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), were not committed to their campaigns and had set their sights on the next presidential election in 2012.
“I believe they are both serious about the elections and want to win,” Chen said. “However, it is possible that their dreams may not come true.”
Chen said that based on his own experience, he was serious about his campaign when he was seeking re-election for Taipei mayor in 1998. Despite an 80 percent approval rating, Chen said he still lost the bid, although he won the presidential election in 2000.
The DPP has a good chance of making a clean sweep in the Nov. 27 polls, but it will not be easy, he said.
The likeliest result would be a DPP win in Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung, with losses in Taipei, Sinbei and Greater Taichung, Chen said. However, the margin would not be significant and the DPP was likely to make substantial gains in the overall ballots, far exceeding those of the KMT, he said.
In the capital, Chen said that although Su was currently leading the polls, the election was still too close to call.
“Don’t overlook the city’s special electoral structure,” he said. “The candidate’s governance capability is not the only thing that matters ... I find some pan-green supporters and Su’s camp are overly upbeat. It is very dangerous.”
Chen also said the pan-green candidates should brace themselves for a pan-blue camp smear campaign, adding that the KMT would never abandon such tactics.
Chen said “those who know the ropes” could clearly see that Su and Tsai are using the November elections as their tickets to the presidential election in 2012. Regardless of the result of the November elections, Chen said he believed Tsai stood a better chance of representing the DPP in the presidential poll.
Meanwhile, more than 30 DPP and independent candidates for the municipal council elections launched a “one side, one country” alliance at the former president’s office yesterday, where a team responsible for stumping for the candidates was also unveiled.
The former president’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), who is running as an independent for city councilor in Greater Kaohsiung, is among the members of the alliance. He said he would work to realize his father’s political ideal of “Taiwan and China, one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait.”
Former minister of foreign affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) is president of the alliance, with Lee Hong-hsi (李鴻禧), honorary professor at National Taiwan University’s College of Law, serving as vice president.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG
INVASION: Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said: ‘A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance’ Japan and the US could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan, and Beijing needs to understand this, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday. Speaking virtually to a forum organized by Taiwanese think tank the Institute for National Policy Research, Abe said that the Senkaku Islands — known as the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in Taiwan — the Sakishima Islands and Yonaguni Island are only about 100km from Taiwan. An invasion of Taiwan would be a grave danger to Japan, he said. “A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance. People in Beijing, [Chinese] President
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while
‘HISTORIC’: The passage of the resolution by both chambers of the French parliament shows their concrete support for Taiwan’s global participation, the foreign ministry said The government yesterday thanked the French National Assembly for adopting a resolution on Monday in support of Taiwan’s international participation, following a similar resolution passed by the French Senate in May. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the resolution’s passage as “historic” and as demonstrating the concrete support of both chambers of the French parliament for Taiwan’s participation in international affairs. Taiwan and France have shared a long-standing partnership characterized by a high level of trust, and based on the shared values of democracy, freedom and human rights, the ministry said. Passed on Monday in a 39-2 vote with three abstentions, the non-legally