Sun, Jan 08, 2012 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Candidates stage rallies nationwide

‘SUPER SATURDAY’:All three presidential candidates turned on the charm yesterday at night markets, rallies and in motorcades as they sought to shore up support

By Mo Yan-chih and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters, in Yunlin, Changhua and Greater Kaohsiung

Ma ended the evening with another campaign rally in New Taipei City (新北市), where he promised to carry out his policy platforms if re-elected.

Meanwhile, Tsai yesterday began what she called the “last mile” trip in her bid for the presidency in the south for a final week of canvassing before Saturday’s elections.

Tsai and her running mate, Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), launched their trip at Pingtung County’s port township of Donggang (東港), hoping that the motorcade traversing the country would be able to generate more support.

Tsai and Su raised a sail and a banner with the slogan “Taiwan’s first female president” in a ceremony marking the beginning of the trip at an oceanside park.

“We chose here, where the traditional King Boat Festival was held to chase away illness, to start our dash in the last mile to victory,” Tsai said.

She said she is confident she can win the election and that the DPP would lead Taiwan into a new age of cooperation between political parties and political stability under the principle of consociational democracy and a grand coalition government when it returns to power.

More than a decade of political dueling has hurt Taiwan’s development, which was why she advocated tolerance, solidarity and a democratic process of consensus-building, she said.

“The true meaning of democracy is more than the majority defeating the minority. It also lies in a democratic process that can integrate positive forces and transform it into a power to drive the country forward,” she told the supporters.

Holding a majority does not necessarily mean stability, she said, adding that Ma and his KMT had forgotten what democracy is all about, despite holding a solid majority in the legislature and being given a strong mandate after Ma’s landslide win in the 2008 election.

Ma has neither listened to the people’s voice nor respected the opposition party during his term in office, she said.

If she were elected, Tsai said her administration would be bipartisan, because “Taiwan is not a country of the DPP or the KMT. It is a country that belongs to everyone.”

From Donggang, Su proceeded to the east coast counties of Taitung and Hualien.

Tsai visited Greater Kaohsiung in the afternoon and received warm support in Fongshan (鳳山), Cianjhen (前鎮) and Siaogang (小港), where many supporters lined the street and welcomed Tsai with firecrackers and cheering.

Tsai later shared the stage with other DPP heavyweights at another rally in Greater Tainan in the evening, where the DPP said a crowd of about 100,000 turned up.

People First Party Chairman James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) campaign schedule also took him to Greater Tainan yesterday where he held a campaign rally last night before canvassing for voter support at a night market.

Criticizing Ma as a president who is incompetent and unaware of people’s suffering, Soong said that what people need is a president who can take good care of his people by employing government resources and using its talent pool more effectively.

PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu (吳崑玉) on Friday said that Soong has been busy lately with numerous private appointments with some of his supporters who are unwilling to attend public events.

His running mate, Lin Ruey-­hsiung (林瑞雄), meanwhile, left Taiwan on Wednesday for a four-day visit to Bhutan and is scheduled to return to Taiwan tomorrow.

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