Thu, Nov 18, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Tainan mayor says Chen to remain influential

CHARISMA The DPP mayor noted the president's enduring ability to galvanize voter support and outlined the pan-green camp's campaign strategy for Tainan

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will remain a powerful politician and exercise influence over the next few decades even after he completes his presidency, Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) predicted.

Hsu made the prediction when speaking with the Taipei Times on Monday.

"The post-A-bian [Chen's nickname] era will not produce another politician with enough personal charisma, and in the future Taiwan politics will become a competition between parties instead of politicians. Yet the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] will not be able to become independent of A-bian," Hsu said.

Hsu mentioned that back when Chen was still Taipei mayor, his appearance in legislative election campaigns would usually cause great excitement in the crowd. The Chen-supporting crowd, consequently, would often decide to support the DPP.

Hsu also used Chen's charismatic popularity to mock Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九.)

"Although Ma's appearance at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates' campaigns would be a plus for the candidates, Ma cannot represent the KMT anymore," Hsu said.

Ma's image as a clean politician, Hsu said, could no longer be linked with the KMT's black-gold politics.

"The KMT cannot offer Ma a platform to absorb support for him, and if the KMT performs poorly in this election, it will hurt Ma badly," Hsu said.

Hsu said that in Tainan City, the pan-green forces were appealing to the public, offering the simple concept of a pan-green majority in the legislature to help Chen's administration.

"I reckon that we have the potential to solicit more votes in Tainan City, and the extra votes will help our final legislator-at-large seats. But I estimate that despite the extra votes, we do not have the potential to win an extra seat, so I insisted we only nominate four seats in Tainan City, although a top party official suggested we nominate five," Hsu said, relating the strategy of the Tainan City legislative campaign.

Hsu also mocked the pan-blue candidates, saying they did not know what they were fighting for because KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) could not offer the public a vision for the future.

"The pan-blue candidates now are fighting only for themselves, and their own power," Hsu said.

Hsu also spoke about his administration in Tainan City.

He appealed to hi-tech companies, highlighting Tainan's relative stability, and said that the completion of the high speed railway next year would help improve the city's economy.

"Tainan City rarely suffers from natural disasters or power failures, and living conditions are much better than those in Tainan County, so Tainan City is even actually a better choice for high-tech companies than Tainan County," Hsu said, when asked about the prospect Tainan City can offer to the high-tech companies.

While many know of Tainan County's Southern Taiwan Science Park, few are aware of Tainan City's Industrial Technology Park.

"After we transformed the old industrial park into a high-tech park, the park now accommodates 140 companies, which are producing NT$ 7 billion worth of goods. It is amazing growth in a short time," Hsu said.

Development of the high-tech park began in 1996.

Hsu said that according to recent polls, if the Tainan area had a good high-tech park, 60 percent of employees in its Hsinchu counterpart would be happy to work in Tainan and move back to the south.

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