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Sun, Mar 12, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Li Ao backs Soong, but Hsu hangs on

By Erin Prelypchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

While New Party presidential candidate Li Ao (李敖) all but bowed out of the race yesterday, Taiwan's other trailing presidential candidate Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) continued to promote himself as a president who would "keep his eyes on the future."

In what he said "could be his farewell speech," Li urged supporters to back independent James Soong (宋楚瑜), saying he was the least harmful of the three leading contenders.

Li has held around 1 percent of public approval ratings through the duration of the race and refused to join the party he was running for.

"When I'm dead, you'll miss me, miss me, miss me," he said.

Li dealt a few parting shots yesterday, comparing himself to a "tampon" who had been used by the political establishment.

"There's a joke about a man who got a magic lamp with a genie inside and made three wishes. His first wish was to live in a palace, and suddenly he was living in a fabulous mansion. His second wish was to have piles of gold, and the genie granted it. His third wish was to spend the rest of his life between a woman's legs. The genie turned him into a tampon," he said.

Colorful rhetoric laced with vulgarity has consistently been a part of Li's campaign. His official platform as listed at the Central Election Commission reads: "Taiwan gets an erection, makes advances toward China, then `Viagras' the whole world."

In his speech yesterday, he advocated that Taiwan unite with China under the "one country, two systems" model so that Taiwan would have a place to send its nuclear waste.

Independent Hsu, formerly a chairman of the DPP, promoted his ticket as a "fourth choice" unbound by constrictions of party or ethnic origin. His running mate, Josephine Chu (朱惠良), is of mainland origin and a former member of the New Party.

The three main contenders remain bound by "19th century thinking about the meaning of nation-states," he said.

"If on March 18 voters continue to vote for candidates with old-fashioned ideas, then Taiwan is really in trouble," Hsu said.

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