People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) campaign schedule took him to Hualien yesterday where he called on residents to vote for him, saying he was the only candidate who would fight for the region.
Criticizing the efforts of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration over the past three years, Soong said that despite Ma’s claims of frugality — in which a cobbler featured in a TV ad for Ma, saying he had repaired some of Ma’s swimming trunks when they were worn out — the money the president had spent on election propaganda could buy for more than 1 million pairs of swimming trunks.
Although Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) touted her party’s “three little pigs” campaign as an example of small donation fundraising, there were too many “big wolves” backing her, Soong added, referring to the fact that Tsai’s campaign team includes individuals who previously worked for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is currently serving a prison term for embezzlement
Soong said that although Hualien was the first district to implement a local government system, it remained relatively undeveloped. He criticized Ma for failing to deliver on his promise to build safer roads for locals.
“Vote for Soong for president, only then is there hope for Taiwan, and can we put the hard times behind us,” he said.
Upon his arrival at Hualien Airport, Soong was greeted by Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), who was previously considered a key Soong supporter, but who has recently been rumored to be leaning toward Ma.
When pressed by reporters to comment on claims published in Next Magazine that he planned to vote for Ma, Fu, an independent, did not answer directly, saying only: “His [Soong’s] experience of government and different political eras, as well as his familiarity with the counties and towns of the nation, offer a lot of things that I have yet to learn.”
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer