Heavyweights from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday stumped for their respective candidates on the final Sunday ahead of Saturday’s legislative by-elections in Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung.
The by-elections are to fill the seats left by Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) and Greater Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Chen Chi-yu (陳啟昱) after they resigned as legislators and assumed their current posts on Dec. 25 last year.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, yesterday traveled to Greater Kaohsiung’s Daliao District (大寮) and campaigned for KMT legislative candidate Hsu Ching-huang (徐慶煌), the son of former three-term DPP legislator Hsu Chih-ming (徐志明).
Hsu Ching-huang is running against the DPP’s Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺), a former legislator who previously served as National Youth Commission minister for a brief period in 2008.
Hsu Ching-huang, a former DPP member, appealed to voters by emphasizing his local roots as he accused his opponent of relocating to Daliao merely for the election.
Ma vouched for Hsu Ching-huang’s loyalty to the KMT, noting that Hsu Ching-huang had on his own initiative set up a supporters’ club for Ma when he was running for the 2008 presidential election.
The pan-green camp’s big guns yesterday appeared to solicit support for the DPP candidates.
DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) last night joined Lin on stage at a campaign rally in Greater Kaohsiung’s Linyuan District (林園). On Saturday night, Tsai shared the stage with former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) at a rally for Lin held in Greater Kaohsiung’s Renwu District (仁武).
Pan-green heavyweights have made several joint campaign appearances in recent days for DPP legislative candidate Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) in Greater Tainan. The KMT has nominated Legislator-at-large Chen Shu-huei (陳淑慧) to face Hsu Tain-tsair, the former Tainan mayor.
Saying the by-election would have an impact on the party’s electoral outlook in the next presidential and legislative elections, Tsai appealed to voters to support Lin and Hsu Tain-tsair so that the DPP could win the by-election and carry momentum into the next elections.