Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night wrapped up “Super Weekend” ahead of Saturday’s presidential election with two large rallies in the north, saying that she is confident the party is inching closer to victory.
Tsai kicked off the weekend in her hometown in Pingtung County on Saturday and traveled through southern, central and northern parts of the country, canvassing the streets during the day and organizing six large rallies at night, hoping to consolidate voter support.
The DPP campaign received a boost of confidence from -enthusiastic support for Tsai’s motorcade, which traversed the DPP strongholds of Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung. Campaign aides said turnout was solid, with 100,000 rally participants in Greater Tainan and 20,000 in Lujhu (路竹), Greater Kaohsiung, on Saturday; while yesterday 30,000 turned out in Fengyuan (豐原), Greater Taichung, and -Yuanlin (員林), Changhua County; and 150,000 in Taipei.
Photo: Liao Yau-tung, Taipei Times
Tsai began yesterday morning by crossing Greater Tainan by motorcade, before staging two rallies in central Taiwan in the afternoon and two more rallies in the north at night.
Speaking in Fengyuan, the DPP chairperson said she recognized the pivotal role that central Taiwan would play in the election, calling the region “the most crucial constituency in the nation” and said she hoped to secure more than half of the votes there.
In a speech yesterday morning in Greater Tainan, Tsai reiterated that her administration would do its best to advance consociational democracy and a grand coalition government — which would mean that “the premier would not necessarily be a DPP member” — by launching party-to-party talks.
She added she would also work with the new legislature and its new speaker, scheduled to be sworn in on Feb. 1, to review the national budget and to cut back on meaningless, inefficient and overspending projects.
The DPP also focused on countering what it said were improper campaign strategies that were used by the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) over the weekend, such as illegal mobilization, breach of administrative neutrality, potential vote-buying and the playing of the “stability card.”
While President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), seeking re-election for the KMT, repeated that stability would be lost without the so-called “1992 consensus” and a change of regime, Tsai said that was not the case and that Ma’s interpretation of stability was way off base.
“Stability means people wake up in the morning knowing that they have a job, have a house to live in when they get off work and can put food on the table,” Tsai said in Greater Tainan on Saturday, adding that for a lot of people, Ma has fallen short of this task.
“Stability also means a government which distributes its resources fairly and respects the legislature and the opposition, and Ma did not accomplish that either,” she said.
Most importantly, she added, stability is not enough to sustain a society without consensus, which was why she advocates the formulation of a “Taiwan consensus.”
“Instability would not happen because of the lack of the ‘1992 consensus,’ but it would because of the lack of a democratic process that does not consult people’s opinion,” Tsai said.
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
INCURSION: After 13 PLA aircraft flew into Taiwan’s ADIZ, the US Department of State said that China should rather ‘engage in meaningful dialogue’ with Taiwan US President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday urged China to stop placing military pressure on Taiwan, while calling on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in peaceful dialogue. The statement by the US Department of State was issued after 13 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. The air force scrambled fighter jets to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense assets until the planes left the ADIZ. The US “notes
CHANGE OF GUARD: Hsiao Bi-khim’s attendance at Joe Biden’s inauguration will come as a boost to those in Taiwan who feared that the new US administration would be less friendly than that of Donald Trump to the nation Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is to attend US President Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony at the US Capitol after she was invited by the US Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, a news release issued by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US said last night. The news came as a surprise as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been reticent about the matter, while Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members had accused the Democratic Progressive Party administration of hedging its bets on the Republican Party. Asked about when Hsiao received the invitation, the ministry did not
FAMILY UNIT: The CECC warned that the eldest sister of the latest case, who also has COVID-19, visited Taoyuan’s Chungping evening market on Tuesday and Wednesday The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a domestic case of COVID-19, associated with a recent cluster infection at Taoyuan General Hospital, and two imported cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the latest case (No. 885) is a woman in her 50s, who is the third daughter of case No. 881, a man in his 90s. The woman is the main caregiver of her elderly father, who had been hospitalized earlier this month and was treated by a nurse (case No. 852) from Monday to Thursday last week, he said, adding that