Sat, Sep 10, 2005 - Page 3 News List

TSU urges election candidates to help save the party


Former president Lee Teng-hui, center -- the spiritual leader of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) -- yesterday takes campaign photos with TSU candidates for the year-end elections during a campaign meeting in Taipei.


Since the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) only nominated two candidates so far to run in the year-end elections, TSU Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強) yesterday urged party members attending an election seminar to grab more seats on city and county councils to ensure the party's continued existence.

The TSU yesterday held an education seminar, attended by 52 possible candidates, on campaigning strategies for the year-end elections. The party's spiritual leader, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), arrived at the venue in the late afternoon to encourage the candidates to work hard for victory in the "life-and-death" elections.

The TSU has been "declaring war" against the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over the past two months and vowed to spoil the DPP's election outcome with surplus nominations. However, owing to its fledgling local network and lack of adequate candidates, the TSU has only nominated two candidates so far in the commissioner and mayoral elections -- former party secretary-general Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), who will run for mayor of Keelung City, and Liu Yi-teh (劉一德), director of the TSU's organization department, who will enter the Chiayi mayoral race.

Forty-eight candidates will run for seats on city and county councils and two will run for local township chief positions.

Shu, who originally planned to campaign in the Yunlin County Commissioner election but withdrew from the race, said that he decided to stand back because he has to pay attention to the overall election condition as the party's campaign commander.

After visiting local party chapters around the country, Shu said that he found most of the people living in south Taiwan are generally unsatisfied with their local governments' infrastructure and economic policies. "Therefore, the TSU candidates here have to be attentive to voters' needs and respond to their wishes in terms of these aspects," Shu told the nominees.

He also encouraged candidates to highlight issues affecting people's livelihoods as their election platforms. He said that the TSU will arrange for Lee to campaign for all the party's candidates -- his health permitting.

"We will let the people of Taiwan realize that the TSU is still growing strong and sturdy and is not yet dying out, as some media have been suggesting," Shu said. "These elections will be an important foundation for the legislative elections in 2007 and we have to stand out."

Compared to the ruling DPP, Shu said that the TSU seemed to have "disappeared from the scene" and enjoyed little media coverage.

He said, however, that this could be because DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is one of the potential candidates in the 2008 presidential election and the DPP needs to focus the media spotlight on him.

Meanwhile, Lee told the candidates that there is only one secret for success in the election -- "hard work."

"Voters will recognize your efforts if you show them your real passion and ambition," he said.

Lee also said that if the TSU performs well in the year-end elections, the party will nominate its candidates for the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections in 2006 to challenge the DPP.

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