Fri, Dec 10, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Ma Ying-jeou a hit with the ladies on the Love hustings

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Taipei Mayor and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged residents of Kaohsiung City to cast their ballots for KMT candidates to maximize the pan-blue camp's political influence.

Ma jogged along the banks of Kaohsiung's Ai River (Love River) yesterday morning and was enthusiastically greeted by female admirers.

The visit was one of the campaign activities held on behalf of KMT legislative candidate Chiang Chi-wen (江綺雯), an incumbent lawmaker.

Strong support

Ma also expressed strong support for other KMT legislative candidates -- two for the northern electorate and one for the southern electorate of Kaohsiung City.

"Due to unresolved disputes involving the the presidential election, we need a majority of the pan-blue camp members at the Legislative Yuan to effectively curb the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)," Ma said.

Citing President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) recent support for changing the names of government agencies overseas and state-run enterprises, Ma said the strategies to attract "deep-green voters" would adversely affect Taiwan's diplomacy.

Ma urged residents in northern Kaohsiung to vote for KMT Legislator Lo Shih-hsiung (羅世雄) tomorrow.

No Time

During his half-day visit, Ma spared no time for independent Legislator Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴), who also serves as vice chairman of Taipei City Government's Human Right Committee, which is chaired by Ma.

"It's because of my tight schedule. I actually support all pan-blue candidates and hope that our influence can be maximized," Ma said.

In late October, Ma visited Kaohsiung to promote a book by Su, which stirred up strong opposition from KMT candidates who said they were in a difficult situation and that Ma should not forget his position as party vice chairman.

Between the previous legislative election in 2001 and this year's presidential election, the number of votes for the pan-green camp increased by approximately 150,000.

Faced with this difficult situation, KMT candidates have had to fight independent candidates, many of whom threaten to undermine the pan-blue camp's vote.

Safeguarding

The KMT Kaohsiung's chapter has worked on safeguarding its resources from being undermined in this manner.

Lin Hsiang-neng (林享能), KMT Kaohsiung chapter head, said the KMT respected the wisdom of the people of Kaohsiung and would not allocate votes like the pan-green camp.

Instead, KMT members would vote for candidates based on written advice sent to them from the chapter's headquarters.

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