Candidates in the Hualien County commissioner by-election yesterday courted the vote of Aborigines as heavyweight politicians continued to stream down from Taipei.
In a bid to attract support from younger voters, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) traveled to Hualien to join Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山), who is representing the KMT and PFP, in a street procession.
Last week, about 60 supporters of Wu Kuo-tung (
The group said that they "want no Taipei people intervening the Hualien voters' decision."
Ma nevertheless turned up in the county yesterday and went with Hsieh and his supporters through Meilun, an industrial region in the northern suburbs of Hualien City.
Ma then joined Hsieh at a rally in Nanpin Park, where an Aboriginal festival was taking place, before wrapping up the campaign activities with a gathering held in front of Hsieh's campaign headquarters.
Ma's visit comes a week after PFP Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (
Today, Hsieh will campaign with
DPP candidate You Ying-lung (
Vying for votes from Aborigines, one of the area's four major ethnic groups along with Hakka, Taiwanese and mainlanders, You yesterday made public his welfare policies for the county's Aborigines.
He promised to create 2,000 jobs for Aborigines and offer NT$5,000 per month to Aboriginal chiefs, of which there are 200 in the county, so they can provide better services to their communities.
A campaign team made up of Aborigines was also created yesterday to support You's campaign.
Wu, the only other candidate in the race, yesterday held a street procession before staging a campaign rally in the evening, during which he laid out his policies and vision for the county.
Wu told the rally he was the only one who could truly represent the voice Hualien's people.
"Does the Hualien by-election need all those people from Taipei to tell us Hualien people who is the best one to bring Hualien a promising future?" Wu said.
"There is no need for Taipei people to intervene in Hualien's affairs," he said.