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Sat, Mar 18, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Big names support Lien's flagging campaign

STAFF WRITER

Several KMT heavyweights came out in support of the party's presidential candidate Lien Chan (連戰).

Party vice-chairman Yu Kuo-hua (俞國華) stumped for Lien and praised his "rich administrative experience" and "modest character," and urged Lien to initiate reform and modernization of the KMT. "The KMT has some drawbacks, especially in terms of `black gold' politics," Yu said.

Public opinion polls have been banned in the run-up to the election, but Lien is widely seen as trailing behind his competitors.

Former president of the Control Yuan, Chen Li-an (陳履安), held a press conference yesterday to reiterate his support for Lien. Chen Li-an attacked the two other major candidates -- the DPP's Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and independent James Soong (宋楚瑜) -- calling former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) a "political amateur." Lee came out in support of the DPP's candidate 10 days ago.

In addition, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), also of the KMT, held a press conference for Lien yesterday. Ma urged the public to vote for Lien, a candidate he considers capable of maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait. "We want reform, not a sea-change," he said. Ma defeated Chen Shui-bian in the 1998 Taipei mayoral election.

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