Sat, Jan 14, 2012 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Soong touts his governing experience in final pitch

Staff Writer, with CNA

Traditional lion dance performers from Chiayi turn up the atmosphere at a People First Party election rally in Greater Taichung last night.

Photo: Tseng Hong-Ju, Taipei Times

People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) wound up a packed last day of campaigning yesterday with a grand rally in Greater Taichung last night, where he shared the stage with his wife, Chen Wan-shui (陳萬水), appealing for support.

Amid swirling campaign banners and cheering crowds, Soong stressed his experience as provincial governor, saying that Taiwan’s society faces many problems and voters “should elect someone with experience.”

Earlier in the day, Soong stumped for votes in the Taichung districts of Dajia (大甲), Shalu (沙鹿) and Lungjing (龍井), while his running mate, Lin Ruey-hsiung (林瑞雄), campaigned in Chiayi County in the south before heading to Nantou in central Taiwan ahead of the presidential and legislative elections today.

Explaining Soong’s focus on central Taiwan on the final day of campaigning, PFP spokesman Lai Yueh-chien (賴岳謙) said Soong had decided on the strategy because “central Taiwan is usually neglected.”

Lai charged that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has long focused on northern Taiwan while neglecting the south and that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has done the exact opposite, with central Taiwan being ignored by the two major parties.

The party also said that because Soong was based in Chung Hsing New Village in Nantou County when he served as the governor of the now downgraded Taiwan provincial government from 1994 to 1998, he would be able to drum up more support for the party’s candidates with a final rally in Taichung, Lai added.

At one of his campaign stops yesterday, Soong criticized the use of resources under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration while holding up an advertisement in yesterday’s newspapers that publicized Taipei’s successful bid to host the 2017 Summer Universiade.

Soong said allocating resources is an important part of a president’s job and he described running an advertisement for such an event as a waste of money.

In addition to calling for support for its presidential ticket, the PFP also aimed to garner enough votes to cross the 5 percent political party vote threshold that would enable it to send legislator-at-large candidates to the new legislature.

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