Mon, Jul 19, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Lien `satisfied, very satisfied' with Kaohsiung election

CITY COUNCIL VOTE Although the KMT chairman was happy with the results, PFP candidates said their party could have done more to promote their campaigns

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday expressed his satisfaction with the party's performance in Saturday's Kaohsiung City Council by-election.

Six out of eight KMT-nominated candidates were elected, compared with six out of 10 nominated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and three out of four nominated by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU).

"[I am] satisfied, very satisfied," said Lien, who was accompanied by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) when casting his vote in the party's legislative primary yesterday.

Noting that most of the elected KMT candidates finished in first or second place in their constituencies, Lien said that this demonstrated Kaohsiung residents' support for the KMT.

After the by-election, the KMT had a total of 11 seats in the 44-member city council, followed by the DPP, which had 10, the TSU, with five seats, and the People First Party (PFP) with three. The independents won 15 seats, with the majority leaning toward the pan-green camp.

Lien said that he hoped both the KMT and the PFP city councilors would help offer a stabilized power structure in the city council.

The PFP fielded four nominees in the by-election, but took no seats. Some PFP candidates who failed in their bid blamed the party for not having made an all-out effort to campaign for them.

"[President] Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaigned for his party and Ma Ying-jeou, the most cha-rismatic person in the KMT, came out in support of the KMT candidates. In comparison, our party chairman [James Soong (宋楚瑜)] is abroad at this time," said PFP candidate Chien Chi-hui (簡吉輝).

Some said PFP Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) ought to take responsibility for the party's poor performance. Chiu led two other PFP candidates in a protest against the DPP on the eve of the election, which resulted in minor conflicts.

Chiu said that the candidates who joined the protest received more votes than the two who didn't.

Noting that three of the four PFP nominees were novices and lacked public visibility, Chiu aimed his criticism at the party's central committee for failing to produce much of a campaign effort, such as staging a large rally to help boost the nominees' media exposure.

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