Mon, Nov 24, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Ma, KMT rally in central Taiwan

By Chen Ching-ya, Yu Po-lin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

President Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President Wu Den-yih, second and third from left, attend a campaign rally with the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidates in Taichung yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The celebration of the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) — held in Greater Taichung yesterday — sent a clear message that the party is emphasizing election results from central Taiwan.

The joint entrance of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman; Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), who is seeking re-election; Nantou County commissioner candidate Legislator Lin Ming-chen (林明溱); and Changhua County commissioner candidate Legislator Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏) demonstrated the region’s importance to the party.

All featured in the closing scene, turning on a “great wheel symbolizing the turning of the tide for central Taiwan,” which also attempted to emphasize that only by voting for KMT candidates would residents of the region see a better future.

“We hope the party will win in the upcoming elections, continuing its reforms and paving the path to winning the 2016 presidential elections,” Ma said as a “birthday wish” for the party.

Governmental policies have caused an increase of international tourists to central Taiwan, reaching 8 million compared with the 3.7 million when the KMT came to power more than seven years ago, Ma said.

Ma added that Nantou County received more subsidies under the KMT government than under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying that most of the funding was due to Lin Ming-chen’s successful negotiations.

The party believes that the tourism industry in Nantou County will certainly prosper under Lin Ming-chen, Ma said.

Earlier yesterday, Ma also visited Chiayi City in an effort to campaign for Chiayi mayoral candidate Chen Yi-chen (陳以真) and KMT city council candidates, but the event was an awkward leg of the journey: Chen was a no-show, while just three city council candidates made an appearance.

While some KMT supporters said Chen’s absence was a show of disrespect and could be taken as proof that Chen was seeking to distance herself from the president, Chiayi Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠), a KMT member, said Chen’s vacancy was simply due to a clash between schedules.

Later yesterday, Ma arrived in Greater Tainan to campaign for mayoral candidate Huang Hsiu-shuang (黃秀霜), who is president National Tainan University, before visiting Greater Kaohsiung to campaign for the KMT’s Greater Kaohsiung mayoral candidate, Minister Without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興).

Additional reporting by Chen Hsin-jen and Wang Shan-yen

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