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Mon, Nov 05, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Dec. 1 elections: President says DPP won't put up with any gangsterrs

There is now less than a month to go before the legislative and local government elections and campaigning has gone into overdrive. While the DPP and the KMT are concentrating on domestic policy issues, the TSU is trying hard to make itself look less like a one-man show while the PFP is focusing on cross-strait relations

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) stressed his tough stance against "black-gold" politics yesterday, saying his administration would not tolerate any gangsters in the political arena.

"The best way to achieve this goal is by barring gangsters from running for office. If they do run, [people] should not vote for them so they won't get elected.

"Even if they are elected, [the government] won't allow them to continue their evil doings," Chen said in Changhua County, receiving enthusiastic applause from tens of thousands of supporters at a DPP campaign rally.

Speaking in the agricultural county last night, Chen also urged farmers to upgrade their technology in light of Taiwan's WTO accession, which he said would hurt the country's farming population.

He said, however, that farmers could use the opportunity to improve Taiwan's agricultural competitiveness.

Chen said that in the long run, the country's international competitiveness will be greatly improved following WTO accession. The Council of Agriculture had previously estimated that roughly 43,000 people would be forced to quit their farming careers following WTO admission.

The DPP will be represented in the agricultural area by Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠), nominated for the county commissioner's race, and four legislative candidates including Chiang Chao-yi (江昭儀) and Chou Ching-yu (周清玉).

Continuing his intense campaign tour, Chen yesterday also appeared in central Taichung County and northern Taipei.

In the morning, Chen attended a campaign rally organized by the party's Aboriginal candidate, Chen Yi-hsin (陳義信), in Taipei, urging supporters to help the DPP secure at least two Aboriginal seats.

"As long as the DPP garners two seats, the needs of Aboriginal groups can be fully voiced and heard," Chen told the crowd.

Other DPP heavyweights -- including Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) -- also continued their nationwide campaign tour yesterday.

While stumping for mayoral candidate Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) in Taichung, Lu said that China may cancel its preferential treatment for Taiwanese businessmen after the two countries join the WTO. Lu urged Taichung to prepare for the return of investment from Taiwanese businessmen who may withdraw from China.

Meanwhile, Hsieh, on the island of Kinmen yesterday, lashed out at opposition parties, saying they did nothing but criticize the president. Defending Chen, Hsieh called rival parties "mentally unhealthy" and said that they have scared foreign investors out of the country, further jeopardizing Taiwan's economic position.

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