Sat, Jan 16, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Tsai braves rain, cold in final rallies

CELEBRATED ARRIVAL:People from all walks of life yesterday lined streets across the nation for a chance to wish the DPP presidential candidate well in the election

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Supporters of Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen yesterday wave flags, balloons and inflatable batons at a campaign event in New Taipei City’s Banciao District.

Photo: CNA

Despite rain and a cold front, tens of thousands of people gathered in a stadium in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) and on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei to attend the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) twin election eve rallies.

“Over the past four years, I’ve traveled around Taiwan, I’ve seen the suffering of the people and I’ve heard the public’s call for change,” Tsai told the Banciao crowd, triggering rounds of cheers and calls for her to win the election. “The third rotation of power [in the nation’s history] should further deepen democracy in Taiwan, fuel economic development and, most importantly, allow people to regain trust in politics. Democratic politics is responsible politics, if [a government] cannot do it well, then we change it.”

Tsai promised that she would not let the public down, saying she hopes that years from now, when people think of this year’s presidential election, they can proudly and loudly say that they voted for Tsai and voted for change in Taiwan with no regrets.

“I want everyone to go to polling stations with hope and expectations,” Tsai said. “We need your vote for the nation’s progress.”

Following the rally in New Taipei City, Tsai and her running mate, Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), traveled to Taipei to join the other tens of thousands of supporters awaiting them on Ketagalan Boulevard, asking her supporters in Banciao to follow.

“Please come with me to Ketagalan Boulevard, be my company on the last mile,” Tsai said, followed by hundreds of supporters immediately departing for Taipei.

Tsai began the last day of the presidential campaign in Taichung’s Fengyuan District (豐原), where she has rented a house, which she calls her new home.

She paraded through Fengyuan, where thousands of supporters lined up along her motorcade’s route to welcome her with cheering and flag-waving.

Speaking at a campaign stop, Tsai said it was everyone’s responsibility to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait.

“We hope cross-strait relations can be peaceful, can develop and at the same time maintain the ‘status quo’ for all parties, including China,” Tsai said. “All parties must work hard together to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait.”

She then made her way through Miaoli County, Hsinchu City and Taoyuan, before heading to the rally in New Taipei City.

Despite having garnered more than 1 million votes in an election for then Taipei County’s top office, which she lost to New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) by 100,000 votes, Tsai received a hero’s welcome from supporters in the city’s Sanchong District (三重).

Passersby, shop owners, nurses, doctors, hairdressers, bank employees, cooks and other people from all walks of life came out from their places of work prior to Tsai’s arrival to wave as she passed, take photographs of her with their cellphones and shout their support as her motorcade passed by.

In Taipei, supporters also lined up along the streets and roads where Tsai’s motorcade was to pass to show their support for her.

At the rally in Taipei, Tsai called on all supporters to go to polling stations to cast their ballots regardless of today’s weather and promised that the party’s legislator-at-large candidates would best represent social justice and public interests, urging supporters not to divert votes to other parties that might share ideologies with the DPP.

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