Tue, Dec 03, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Big guns to campaign for DPP candidates

By Lin Mei-Chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) are expected to appear together to stump for Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), the DPP's mayoral candidate in Kaohsiung this evening to boost the candidate's popularity for Saturday's election.

The arrangement was made after Hsieh, the incumbent seeking re-election, extended the invitation to the ex-president after their meeting in Kaohsiung on Sunday.

The party wants to make use of Lee's popularity in the region to help beef up Hsieh's reportedly declining public support.

Hsieh, the forerunner for months, is experiencing a tough time in the final moments of the campaign after PFP chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) agreed to throw his support behind Huang Jun-ying (黃俊英), the candidate nominated by the KMT.

According to Michael You (游盈隆), the DPP's deputy secretary general, Hsieh is still leading the polls by around 10 percent, but the lead is narrowing after the pan-blue camp threw its support behind one candidate.

But a survey conducted by the DPP was the only one that indicated Hsieh was still the forerunner. Other polls done by the TVBS news channel and two Chinese-language newspapers all showed that Huang has slight lead.

In contrast to Hsieh's situation, Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), the DPP's candidate for Taipei mayor, is facing an even tougher battle in Taipei as incumbent Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) popularity remains high.

The DPP is poised to make a last-ditch effort to campaign for Lee as Chen, first lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) and leading officials intend to spend a lot of time campaigning this week.

Chen is expected to stump for Lee Ying-yuan on Thursday and Friday, whereas Wu will campaign for him on Friday.

Lee Ying-yuan said he still would still welcome Lee Teng-hui to stump for him, regardless of a warning by Fan Chen-tsung (范振宗), the head of the Council of Agriculture, who left his position yesterday.

Fan said that Lee Ying-yuan should not invite the ex-president to stump for him because it might have a negative impact on the candidate's showing.

The former president stumped for Lee Ying-yuan for the first time on Saturday, which drew a rally of approximately 10,000 supporters.

But insiders in the DPP admitted that the appearance of Lee Teng-hui did little to help Lee's sluggish popularity.

Initially Fan had arranged to stump for Lee Ying-yuan today, but the plan was dropped after he made the statements.

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