Sat, Aug 02, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Pan-green camp winds up campaign

BIG GUNS President Chen Shui-bian was among the many top DPP politicians in Hualien yesterday for last-minute campaigning on behalf of You Ying-lung

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER IN HUALIEN

DPP candidate You Ying-lung, center, along with his wife, Shih Chia-ling, second left, and DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung, right, greet supporters in Hualien at a rally last night.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Throngs of DPP officials traveled back to Hualien County yesterday for last-minute campaigning for the party's candidate in the by-election, You Ying-lung (游盈隆).

The results of today's vote are expected by 8pm, with 256,685 eligible voters casting ballots at 265 polling stations in 13 cities and townships in the county.

You's camp yesterday held a number of street processions and motorcade parades before ending the day with a rally attended by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

At the rally, Chen reiterated that the by-election was not a prelude to next year's presidential election and called on voters to elect the most capable commissioner.

"You has always wanted to work for Hualien's people, as can be seen in his previous three endeavors. KMT Candidate Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山) is disqualified in his candidacy as he's never been truly concerned about Hualien people's interests," Chen said.

"If Hsieh really cared about Hualien, why did he run in the Taipei County commissioner election in 2001. He is now spending his retirement in Hualien. What can he do for Hualien people?" Chen asked.

Chen also criticized independent candidate Wu Kuo-tung (吳國棟) for his involvement in a series of scandals.

"If Wu is convicted in his case, the Hualien people might have to elect another commissioner, which would be a joke on Hualien people," Chen said.

You said at the rally yesterday that he was committed to improving the welfare of the Aboriginal communities, who make up a quarter of Hualien's residents, by increasing job opportunities for them.

You also promised to increase construction budgets for Hualien and to maintain the stability of personnel system in the Hualien County Government to dispel worries about a reshuffle after the DPP takes power.

During the day yesterday, Chen accompanied You in a blitz of street processions from Hualien's southernmost Yuli township to Kuanfu and Fenglin townships to attract support.

The final campaign activities yesterday also saw Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Taipei County Commissioner Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) stumping for You.

Hoping that it's fourth time lucky, You, who failed the last two commissioner elections and one legislative election, appealed for the sympathy of the voters to give him a chance to serve them.

"Give me two years, and I will give you a different Hualien," You's campaign banner read.

You's campaign office has also been advising people that the significance of You's victory would be an unprecedented transfer of political power in Hualien County, which has been ruled by the KMT for 50 years.

You yesterday expressed confidence in his performance and dismissed Hsieh's strategy of appealing to voters to vote tactically against Wu to avoid splitting the pan-blue vote.

"Given the crowds of people joining Wu's street procession, which we estimate attract between 5,000 and 6,000 people, we don't see Wu's support waning. Therefore, the `dump and save' strategy Hsieh has employed is not working at all," You said.

With each candidate using every possible means to attract support, You yesterday claimed he has the support of Liu Chao-eh (劉詔娥), widow of former commissioner Chang Fu-hsing (張福興).

Liu, who failed to secure the KMT's nomination in a bid to succeed her husband in the by-election, was seen as an important factor that could sway the election in the final countdown to today's poll.

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