Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT fighting uphill battle in race for Kaohsiung mayor

HELP AT HAND Ma Ying-jeou pledged to hold a series of campaigning events after a recent poll showed falling support for Huang Chun-ying

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

As the anti-President Chen-Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaign continued to draw the bulk of public attention, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday acknowledged that it is fighting an uphill battle in the lead-up to the year-end Kaohsiung mayoral election.

According to the latest poll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday by the Chinese-language United Daily News, the support rate for KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英) had dropped from 38 percent in April to 32 percent.

The poll also revealed that former chairwoman of the Council of Labor Affairs and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Chen Chu (陳菊) had seen her ratings rise from 24 percent to 28 percent. Meanwhile, the poll suggested that Taiwan Solidarity Union candidate Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) could count on only winning 2 percent of the votes.

The survey interviewed 756 Kaohsiung residents with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.

In response to the declining support rate for his party's candidate, KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said the party will boost Huang's momentum with a series of campaigning events.

"The dropping support rate is a warning sign. We will handle the situation with caution," he said while attending a municipal event in Taipei.

With Kaohsiung for long resolutely in the pan-green camp, KMT Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) said the party will face a tough battle trying to win the election.

The Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral and city council elections will be held on Dec. 9.

"The media is focusing its attention on the anti-Chen campaign and the election news has been largely ignored," Chang said.

Liao Feng-te (廖風德), director of the KMT's organization and development committee, said Ma would be visiting Kaohsiung more frequently to campaign for Huang, while Huang himself has been making efforts to win support from the grassroots.

On the other hand, the party said its Taipei mayoral candidate Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) has been in the lead in all polls and the KMT has a much more positive outlook about winning the Taipei mayoral election.

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