Thu, Dec 01, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Doubts emerge over Lee's attendance at DPP rally

BIG HITTER The aging former president may not be able to throw his weight behind the DPP candidate for Taipei County tomorrow night

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

There were conflicting reports last night over whether former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) would stump for Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate for Taipei County commissioner, in a campaign rally tomorrow evening.

TSU caucus whip Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙), a Taipei County-based legislator, said yesterday that Lee was ready to campaign for Luo at the rally and would appeal to "all the people of Taiwan" in an effort to swing the crucial electorate.

But Lee is also scheduled to appear on stage at 9pm to support TSU Keelung mayoral candidate Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘). A number of TSU members were concerned that the rush to Keelung after attending Luo's rally in Taipei County at 7pm would be too much for the elderly Lee.

Last night Lee reportedly declined an invitation from Luo's campaign headquarters to take part in Luo's rally.

Earlier in the day, Liao said that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had not been able to effectively call on the pan-green camp's supporters to come out and vote and that Lee was the only person capable of lifting the pan-green voters' morale and stimulate them into voting.

"We will not appeal to `the union of the pan-green camp' this time, but to `the great union of the people of Taiwan,'" Liao said.

Lee also stumped for the DPP's Taichung mayoral candidate Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) last Sunday. Luo would have been the second DPP candidate to receive Lee's support.

According to the latest poll conducted by the Liberty Times, Luo is still trailing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) by 2.33 percentage points. With only two days left, Luo has started to appeal to the sentimental side of voters.

At Tuesday evening's rally, Luo's campaign team played footage of the late former DPP legislator Lu Hsiu-yi (盧修一) as he campaigned for DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) when Su ran for the same position eight years ago.

Although dying of cancer at the time, Lu got down on his knees to beg the crowd to support Su at a campaign rally before polling day. Lu's gesture is said to have been a decisive factor in helping Su to win.

Luo yesterday morning paid tribute to the late former DPP chairman Huang Hsin-chieh (黃信介) at Huang's grave in Taipei County, praying that Huang would bless him and help him win the election so that he could contribute to the future of Taipei County.

Meanwhile, Luo's campaign continued to suffer from vote-buying accusations from the pan-blue camp, which said that Luo's team was involved in large-scale vote-buying on Sunday. They claim that Luo's team paid each rally participant NT$150 as a reward.

By late yesterday afternoon, the Banciao District Prosecutors' Office had subpoenaed 17 members of Luo's campaign team but had not yet searched Luo's campaign office.

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