Sun, Aug 03, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Hualien Election: You vows to keep up the fight

NEVER SURRENDER The DPP candidate says that he will always remain committed to Hualien, but some believe he was sunk by a strategy that couldn't win

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN HUALIEN

"The attention from the media and big-gun politicians nationwide has made Hualien an extremely popular place after SARS damaged Hualien's tourism business. Campaigners from outside Hualien also contributed to the rebound in the tourism industry," Tseng said.

Tseng also denied media reports that Hualien residents were lukewarm about the vote.

"It's not necessarily true when observers said that outsiders were more zealous about the election than locals. The close attention from across the country made Hualien people realize it's the moment of truth for Hualien people to ask for a better future," Tseng said.

"As the by-election brought an overwhelming number of party officials to Hualien, officials could see clearly what Hualien really needs to develop," said Tseng, who has lived in Hualien for 10 years. "The campaign process was a comprehensive examination of Hualien's developments.

"No matter who won the election, I believe it's the biggest turning point for Hualien in the past 50 years," the lawyer said.

Commenting on Hsieh's victory last night, Tseng said "It's an omen for the DPP to pay attention to the upcoming presidential election."

However, some people regarded the excessive attention on the by-election as unnecessary and fake. They suggested the heavyweight politicians who made frequent visits to the county were not sincere in their concern for Hualien.

"On Friday night, one day before Saturday's poll, the streets were packed to the rafters in downtown Hualien. But on Saturday morning, it was deadly quiet. All these politicians who claimed to care about Hualien left. Is this what they meant by truly caring for Hualien?" said Yang Shou-chuan (楊守全), publisher of The East Coast Commentary (東海岸評論).

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