Nobel laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) yesterday threw his support behind Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at a rally in Greater Taichung, urging voters to support “a leader who is resolute, has a sense of responsibility and excellent coordination skills.”
“Chairperson Tsai is an extraordinary person. I believe she will be one of the most respected and renowned heads of state in the world,” Lee, 75, told the rally, which the DPP said attracted about 50,000 supporters.
The former Academia Sinica president said Tsai was the government official who left him with the best impression during his career at the institution because of her problem-solving ability, communication skills and — most of all — integrity.
“What surprised me and my colleagues the most is the strong determination under her smile. And that’s the extraordinary thing about her,” Lee said.
Lee defended Tsai’s integrity in the “Yu Chang case,” in which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) accused Tsai of a conflict of interest in the formation of Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司), now known as TaiMed Biologic Inc (中裕新藥股份有限公司), when she served as vice premier in 2007. Lee said the establishment of the company was a model for Taiwan’s development of biotechnology.
“I am glad that she has decided to come back to the public policy field that she knows best. She is capable of making a great contribution to the country,” Lee said.
It was the third time since 2000 that Lee had endorsed a DPP presidential candidate and the first time he appeared on stage in a DPP rally.
He endorsed former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 2000 with a newspaper advertisement and again in Chen’s re-election campaign in 2004 with a pre--recorded video.
Lee was among the more than 200 professors and scientists who announced their endorsement of Tsai in Taichung yesterday after 87 scientists, Lee included, endorsed Tsai with a newspaper advertisement on Tuesday.
The eight-and-a-half-month campaign will draw to a close today at 10pm. Tsai is scheduled to campaign today in northern Taiwan with a last motorcade beginning in Keelung and traveling through Taipei City before winding up at her national campaign headquarters in Banciao (板橋), New Taipei City (新北市).
The final rally will also be held in Banciao, where former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and former DPP chairperson Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) may appear on stage to endorse Tsai, DPP aides said.
In Taoyuan yesterday, Tsai reiterated that every vote counts in this neck-to-neck election, adding that it was important for supporters to mobilize and encourage their families and friends to make it to the polling stations. She also said that young people should return to their hometowns to cast their votes.