Sun, Jan 10, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Tsai launches final-week campaign tour

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter, in KAOHSIUNG

Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, second right, waves to supporters at a campaign event in Pingtung yesterday.

Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh

Amid good-luck wishes yesterday from people in Fenggang Village (楓港) in Pingtung County’s Fangshan Township (枋山), her parents’ home town, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) paraded through Pingtung and Kaohsiung, greeted by supporters along the way, launching her final-week nationwide campaign tour before the presidential election on Saturday.

“Four years ago, I started my presidential campaign trip along Provincial Highway No. 1 from Fenggang. Four years later, I have returned to my hometown, Pingtung. From here I will start my week-long campaign trip,” Tsai told more than 100 people in the small coastal village with a population of a little over 1,000 who gathered in front of the local Delong Temple (德隆宮). “I could feel the desire of the people in Pingtung to elect a president from here.”

“Please give me the best election outcome,” Tsai said, urging her supporters to also support the DPP’s district and legislator-at-large candidates.

Among the supporters, Tsai’s uncle, aunt and cousin were also in attendance. Her uncle and aunt brought Tsai a gift of zongzi (粽子, rice dumplings), which symbolize victory in Taiwanese culture.

Prior to Tsai’s arrival, the temple leaders walked around the facility to make sure that everything was well prepared “to welcome our President Tsai.”

Before speaking to the crowd, Tsai went into the temple to make offerings to the deities.

The temple master gave Tsai a flag with the temple’s and the deity’s name on it to express their goodwill, while two Paiwan leaders presented traditional headwear and a vest with a totem to recognize her as a “daughter of the Paiwan people,” as her grandmother was a Paiwan Aborigine.

Following a rally to launch the nationwide tour, Tsai, accompanied by DPP legislative candidate Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) and Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Meng-an (潘孟安), paraded through Linluo Township (麟洛) and neighboring Pingtung City.

“Dear friends and fellow Pingtung residents, Tsai Ing-wen is here in person, greeting all of you,” a campaigner said through loudspeaker.

“Please vote for Tsai to make Pingtung the home county of the president,” the campaigner said.

The announcements were made in Hakka while the parade was in Linluo, as it is a predominantly Hakka township, and switched to Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) as the parade crossed into Pingtung City, which is a predominantly Hoklo-speaking area.

Supporters gathered in groups along the parade route, waving flags, giving the thumbs-up gesture and screaming as the jeep carrying Tsai, Chung and Pan passed by.

“Mom, Tsai is coming. Look, I see her,” shouted a girl who stood outside a restaurant with her family waiting for the parade to pass, pointing to the direction that Tsai was coming from.

After the parade in Pingtung, Tsai accompanied the DPP’s Kaohsiung legislative candidates in a parade through the city and finished the day with an evening rally in Kaohsiung, which event organizers said had a turnout of 100,000 people.

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