Home / Election: The Losers
Sun, Mar 19, 2000 - Page 20 News List

Also-rans claim minor victories

Garnering less than 100,000 votes between them, Hsu Hsin-liang and the New Party said their respective campaigns were a relative success

By Liu Shao-Hua  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hsu Hsin-liang

FILE PHOTO

The two biggest losers in yesterday's election made appeals and offered excuses as the dust settled and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) emerged victorious.

Independent candidate Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) set aside an embarrassing showing in which he garnered only 0.6 percent of the total, or 79,429 votes, to ask Chen to prioritize cross-strait issues and national unity.

Hsu held a post-election press conference to congratulate Chen and to call on the public to reunite after a divisive election campaign. The former chairman of the DPP, Hsu left the party to make his ill-fated bid for the presidency.

Hsu said he sincerely accepted the voters' choice and appealed to Chen to ease cross-strait tensions and promote the public's confidence in Taiwan's economy.

Hsu did not say much about his future nor did he directly answer speculation that he might try to found a new party.

"I never felt frustrated and will keep going," he said.

New Party vice-presidential candidate Elmer Feng (馮滬祥) also held a post-election press conference, in the absence of the party's presidential candidate Li Ao (李敖), to blame his party's loss on a rumor, saying President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) wanted to "Dump Lien to save Chen" (棄連保陳).

The New Party made an abysmal showing, eking out just 0.1 percent of the total, or 16,782 votes.

The convener of the New Party caucus, Hao Lung-bin (郝龍斌), said Chen's victory was mainly based on anti-China sentiment,along with Academic Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh's (李遠哲) powerful support for Chen and the divisions within the KMT.

Hao said threatening statements from Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji (朱鎔基) triggered Taiwanese voters' negative emotions and pushed them towards Chen. However, Hao emphasized that "the [Taiwanese] anti-China complex doesn't mean that Taiwanese espouse independence."

Responding to general doubt about the New Party's future, Hao said the poor showing was not equal to the party's demise.

"Li and Feng's endeavors in the election campaign have reached the goal of promoting the New Party's propaganda," Hao said.

Li didn't even show up at the New Party's post-election press conference, saying he was not interested in the result and was happy that the election had finally come to an end. Although Li refused to join the party as a member, he stood as its candidate.

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