The local elections on Saturday will be a decisive showdown between Taiwan and China because, were the pan-blue camp to win more than half of the constituencies, the legislature would pass laws which would impinge upon Taiwan's sovereignty, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.
Chen made the comments while campaigning for former minister of justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) in Ilan. Whilst on the campaign trail, he shook hands with residents on the streets of both Ilan City and Luodong township (羅東) and issued dire warnings about the implications of a pan-blue victory.
"If the blue camp wins, the [pan-blue dominated] Legislative Yuan would pass a `cross-strait peace advancement bill' (海峽兩岸和平促進法), which would eventually destroy Taiwan's sovereignty," Chen Shui-bian said.
The president added that, in the event of a pan-blue victory, cross-strait policies would have to be tightened further because his administration's top priority is to protect the interests of the Taiwanese people.
On local development issues, Chen Shui-bian urged local residents to have faith in the DPP's promise to make Ilan a more comfortable place to live.
"Chen Ding-nan's commissionership will ensure that the welfare of Ilan residents is given top priority despite the opening of the Taipei-Ilan Expressway," he said.
Saying that Ilan County is a place where democracy is held dear, Chen said that if the DPP were to lose the battle on Saturday, the democratic history that is rooted in Ilan would be totally eradicated.
Ilan County has not been governed by the KMT since Chen Ding-nan defeated his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rival for the Ilan commissionership in 1981.
"We have to protect the democratic history of Ilan County from being destroyed by the corruption of others," the president said.
Chen alleged KMT candidate Lu Kuo-hua (呂國華) had worked to promote people with gangster connections to governmental positions when he was serving as Ilan mayor.
"If Lu is elected, Ilan will be ruled by gangsters. The situation in Ilan will become as it was in Pingtung County when it was dominated by former commissioner Wu Tzer-yuan [伍澤元] and former county council speaker Cheng Tai-chi [鄭太吉]," Chen said.
In 1996, Wu, a then-KMT member and director of the Taiwan Provincial Government's Planning and Development Department, was charged with corruption. In November 2002, Wu was declared a fugitive by the Taiwan High Court. Cheng was found guilty of murder and executed in August 2000.
Meanwhile, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday campaigned for DPP candidates in Taoyuan County.
Before the election, the nation's top two leaders are making television appearances. Lu took the opportunity to campaign for DPP candidates during an interview on SET TV last night.
Tonight it will be the president's turn to be interviewed by another station in a two-hour program, during which he is likely to stress the DPP's efforts to implement reform.