Tue, Jan 12, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Eric Chu braves elements to campaign in Taichung

SCHEDULE CONFLICT?Eric Chu denied that Yen Kuan-heng’s failure to turn up was an indication that the KMT leadership is losing its grip on local factions in Taichung

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu, second left on the car, waves at supporters in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday braved heavy rain to canvass for votes in Taichung — one of the administrative regions the party considers a decisive battleground in Saturday’s presidential and legislative elections.

Chu, wearing a light-blue jacket and a hat displaying his campaign slogan: “One Taiwan,” arrived in Taichung yesterday morning as scheduled and boarded a vehicle with bulletproof glass.

Chu originally planned to canvass the streets with six of the KMT’s eight candidates who are running for regional legislative seats in the city one-by-one. The six candidates are Yen Kuan-heng (顏寬恒), Shen Chih-hwei (沈智慧), Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆), Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), Yang Chung-ying (楊瓊瓔) and Johnny Chiang (江啟臣).

However, Yen was not present due to a scheduling conflict and entrusted his younger sister, Taichung City councilor Yen Li-ming (顏莉敏) of the KMT, to hit the road with Chu on his behalf.

Yen Kuan-heng’s father, former Non-Partisan Solidarity Union legislator Yen Ching-piao (顏清標) — whose family enjoys strong local ties and networks in the city — also came to greet Chu in his son’s stead.

“I have seen that in spite of the heavy rain, many of our supporters are still ardent and enthusiastic... Even though I am soaking wet, wind and rain can bring confidence and I would not let them stop me,” Chu said.

Chu dismissed concerns that Yen Kuan-heng’s absence yesterday is an indication that the KMT leadership is losing its grip on local fractions in Taichung, saying the decision to include Yen Kuan-heng in his street-canvassing schedule was made at the last minute.

“People have read too much into this. Initially, we planned to head directly to the city’s downtown area, but later decided to make another stop [at Yen Kuan-heng’s campaign headquarters],” Chu said.

Asked why Taichung was included in his last-stage campaign schedule and was also the first city he visited after securing the KMT’s nomination as its presidential candidate in October last year, Chu said he regards Taichung as extremely important.

Chu said central Taiwan is undoubtedly a decisive battleground in the upcoming election and the KMT is determined to beat the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the area.

The KMT lost Taichung to the DPP in the 2014 nine-in-one elections, after the city had been governed by former KMT vice chairman Jason Hu (胡志強) for 13 years.

The final stop in Chu’s vehicle procession was the Tzu Chi Temple (慈濟宮) in the city’s Fongyuan District (豐原), where the KMT candidate prayed to the sea goddess Mazu (媽祖) for victory in Saturday’s elections.

Chu traveled back to New Taipei City in the afternoon, where he canvassed in Wugu (五股), Lujhou (蘆洲) and Sanchong (三重) districts.

Meanwhile, Chu’s wife, Kao Wan-chien (高婉倩), visited a traditional market in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) yesterday morning to solicit support for her husband.

Accompanied by KMT legislative candidate Lin Kuo-chun (林國春) and Lin’s wife, Kao shook hands with vendors and doled out campaign-themed disposable hand warmers to onlookers.

This story has been viewed 13539 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top