Tue, Nov 25, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Lien adds Ma to campaign team

CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT The KMT must ask the Central Election Commission whether the mayor can take part in campaign work since he is an elected official

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan, left, and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, right,were among the KMT officials who paid tribute yesterday at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to mark the 109th anniversary of the founding of the KMT.

PHOTO: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday announced that Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had decided to accept the post as the pan-blue alliance's chief campaign manager.

"We are very grateful that Mayor Ma has accepted the position," Lien told reporters after paying his respects to a statue of the late president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Lien was accompanied by Ma and scores of other KMT officials as he paid visits to both the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall yesterday to commemorate the 109th anniversary of the founding of the party

"But the announcement is not yet official. Ma will formally and officially take up the post when the alliance's campaign headquarters is launched on Dec. 7," Lien said.

Expressing confidence in Ma's vote-pulling effect, Lien said that Ma's addition to the alliance's campaign team would "immeasurably" boost the pan-blue camp's electoral outlook.

Ma, who also serves as the party's vice chairman, is regarded by many pan-blue supporters as one of the party's most popular officials.

Noting that Ma's hands would be full with managing his mayoral duties and performing his role in the campaign, Lien said that KMT Secretary-General Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正) and People First Party (PFP) Secretary-General Tsai Chung-hsiung (蔡鐘雄) would both serve as chief implementation campaign managers to help Ma handle the load.

Lien added that the chief campaign manager would be the one in charge of dividing up the workload between himself and the two chief implementation managers.

The pan-blue alliance's campaign team will be headed by KMT Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who last Saturday formally announced he would accept the post of the director-general.

Given that the Election and Recall Law (選罷法) has stipulated that a directly elected local government chief cannot take part in campaign work, Ma, noting that he had heard a different definition from the Central Election Commission, said that the party would request a clear explanation from the commission.

Ma stated that the final decision on whether he would take up the campaign post would depend on the response from the commission.

Ma said he will discuss with Lin and Tsai relevant tasks at the campaign headquarters should his campaign posting be approved.

When asked by reporters whether Lien's announcement was a sign that the party's middle generation was stepping closer to the KMT's leadership, Ma dismissed the question.

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