Sat, Dec 11, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Ma shows loyalty by supporting KMT

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman, yesterday arranged his schedule for the last day of campaign activities to not only show support for his party, but also break rumors saying that he was giving preferential treatment former subordinates, known as "Ma's Corps."

Yesterday morning, Ma first went to Taipei County to promote Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), a KMT legislative candidate and Taipei City Government former spokesman. After that, Ma returned to Taipei City to accompany six candidates, who seized opportunities at the final countdown to appeal to residents for support.

Ma's last activity, which was originally reserved for independent candidate Lin Cheng-hsiu (林正修), former head of the city's civil affairs department, was canceled in the afternoon.

According to KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正), Lin Cheng-hsiu's campaign advertisement, which ran yesterday in local newspapers, had offended the party. In the advertisement, Lin Cheng-hsiu said that he had waited for the pan-blue's support for too long.

"Ma won't go for him. Running advertisements to attack partners violates the pan-blue's principles," Lin Fong-cheng said to ERA TV News.

As of press time, Ma had not reversed his decision.

Tu Chien-teh (杜建德), director of the KMT's Taipei branch office, said yesterday that Ma's schedule to campaign for legislative candidates was entirely arranged by his office.

"Ma has his own judgment, because the voice of party members at basic levels had been passed on to him through local branches," Tu said.

Ma yesterday did his best to recommend KMT candidates, stressing his long political history associating with the party. Ma even played the role of a peacemaker, mediating quarrels among KMT candidates, including Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛), incumbent Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) and Justin Chou (周守訓).

When Ma carried out street campaign activities with KMT Spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元) in Neihu District yesterday afternoon, Ma called for the cooperation of all voters for the party.

"KMT supporters have to work together in the elections. We can't afford to miss any ballots," Ma said.

According to Ma's office, Ma has attended 230 campaign activities since September 10, when he began to assist pan-blue candidates. Among them, 165 events were for 70 KMT candidates throughout the nation, while 37 activities were for 25 PFP candidates. As for four candidates in the pan-blue political spectrum who are either independent or from other small parties, such as New Party, Ma only spared them about 5.6 percent of his time for 12 events.

Ma's assistants stressed yesterday that beginning mid-October, Ma has accepted all invitations from all pan-blue candidates but still put those from KMT and PFP on his top priority.

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