Sat, Dec 06, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blue camp plan to open campaign headquarters

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The pan-blue camp -- consisting of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) -- appears to be set for the upcoming presidential campaign, with its campaign headquarters slated to be launched tomorrow.

"The office is ready, and so are the office staff, who are in position to take up their work," said Taipei Mayor and KMT Vice Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who was tapped last week by KMT Chairman and pan-blue presidential candidate Lien Chan (連戰) to be the camp's chief campaign manger.

"We have also gone over the agenda and logistics for [tomorrow's] opening, and all appears to be set and ready," Ma added.

Ahead of the headquarters launch, Ma inspected the headquarters facility yesterday along with KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) and Lin's PFP counterpart Tsai Chung-hsiung (蔡鐘雄).

Prior to the launch of its headquarters, the KMT-PFP alliance is taking its campaign to the news-papers as a warmup to promoting the candidacy of its men: Lien and his PFP counterpart James Soong (宋楚瑜), who are running on a joint ticket to challenge President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election bid in the upcoming presidential election.

According to KMT spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元), the alliance will buy pages of advertisements today and tomorrow in several important Chinese-language newspapers to boost the visibility of the Lien-Soong ticket.

The theme of these advertisements is "What will happen to our children if everything changes?"

In addition, the party will distribute approximately 500,000 copies of one of Lien's speeches via newspaper deliveries on Monday, Tsai said. The speech, made by Lien last Saturday during a campaign rally in Taoyuan, called for ethnic reconciliation in the nation.

A large-scale campaign rally is slated to take place at the CKS Memorial Hall tomorrow night following the launch of the campaign headquarters in the afternoon.

During the rally, Lien is sche-duled to deliver a speech which, according to information from the KMT, will put an emphasis on "saving Taiwan by saving its economy and peace."

"Many of our allies have expressed concerns over Chen's recent rhetoric [on a defensive referendum]," Ma said. "As a presidential candidate, Lien needs to let the public know that the nation would not be on the brink of war under his leadership [if he is elected president]."

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