Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was grabbed by a Chinese woman who managed to get on the stage at an event in Greater Taichung yesterday.
Tsai, the DPP’s presidential candidate in January’s presidential election, had just finished her speech at a meeting celebrating Lawyer’s Day when a woman rushed onto the stage and grabbed Tsai by the arm.
Tsai seemed a bit embarrassed and was later escorted off the stage, while the woman was asked to leave after venting her anger over what she said was an unfair ruling regarding a suit she had filed over a medical dispute.
The woman, surnamed Tsui (崔), is from China and is married to a Taiwanese man.
However, the relevant “agencies should review their security measures to see if there were any loopholes,” Tsai said, adding that the woman had been able to get direct access to the stage without any security checks.
The National Police Agency (NPA), which is in charge of security, later said it would review the incident to see whether it was a matter of negligence.
It was the second time in two weeks that a presidential candidate has been approached by a member of the public seeking to make a personal appeal.
On Aug. 23, a man suddenly appeared on stage behind President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is seeking re-election, at an event at Fokuangshan Monastery in Greater Kaohsiung. The man was taken away by security personnel.
In another case, on the eve of the special municipality elections last year, former vice president Lien Chan’s (連戰) son Sean Lien (連勝文) was shot at a campaign rally in then-Taipei county. He recovered from his wounds.
On March 19, 2004, the day before the presidential election, a bullet grazed then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) stomach and another struck then-vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) in the knee as they sat in a motorcade while campaigning in Tainan.
Huang Ching-fu (黃清福), a section chief at the NPA, yesterday said that as Tsai has not yet officially registered for the presidential election, it has only assigned her four male and two female bodyguards.
“However, at campaign events, local police agencies will also assign eight people in two vehicles to support the main security team, which means there will be 14 people on Tsai’s security detail daily,” Huang said.
Under the law, presidential and vice presidential candidates are entitled to increased security once they formally register their candidacy with the Central Election Commission.
The National Security Bureau coordinates between the NPA, the Investigation Bureau and military police to provide security for the candidates between the date of formal registration and the day after the election.
Additional reporting by Rich Chang