Mon, Mar 08, 2004 - Page 3 News List

KMT's Hu denies leaning toward pan-green camp

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) yesterday denied rumors he wasn't pulling his weight in the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) presidential campaign, telling reporters his "blue blood is of pure blue, totally blue."

Blue is the color associated with the KMT and its People First Party (PFP) ally.

"I have been a loyal member of the KMT in the past, and that's what I am now and will be in the future," Hu told a press conference while wearing KMT stickers on his face.

"I am curious to know how the rumor came about saying that I am cozying up to the pan-green camp and that my political stance is shaking," said Hu, who is also director of the KMT-PFP alliance's Taichung campaign office.

In an effort to prove his blue credentials, Hu was splashed with green paint to symbolize the allegations he was leaning toward the pan-green camp. Hu then removed his green-stained jacket to reveal a blue T-shirt.

Hu was recently featured in a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) TV campaign ad which showed footage of the Taichung mayor approving of the DPP's efforts to develop the city.

In response to the ad, Hu said that the DPP had misused his statement and that the DPP should have asked for his permission before incorporating his remarks into the ad.

Noting that the support rates for President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election bid and the pan-blue camp's presidential candidate KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) were neck and neck in the Tai-chung region, Hu said that if ne-cessary, he would consider taking time off from his mayoral duty 10 days before election day to engage in campaign work full-time.

In return, Lien yesterday spoke of his recognition of Hu's efforts in the presidential campaign and accused the DPP of trying to sow discord among pan-blue members.

"I think it is clear to all that [the DPP] has been resorting to all sorts of tricks in an attempt to drive a wedge between the mem-bers of the KMT-PFP alliance," said Lien, who has joined with his PFP counterpart James Soong (宋楚瑜) to challenge Chen in March.

"All of our [pan-blue] local chiefs have all been wholeheartedly engaged in the alliance's campaign work," Lien said. "And their efforts are much appreciated."

Meanwhile, the pan-blue alliance yesterday released another TV campaign ad promoting the Lien-Soong ticket.

The ad featured an office worker who sparked a series of increasingly serious mishaps because he missed the trash can when attempting to shoot a piece of garbage into it.

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