Sun, May 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chang elected Keelung mayor

CRACKING? KMT-PFP solidarity showed signs of strain when some disappointed supporters of Liu Wen-hsiung said they would vote for Frank Hsieh as president

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Chang Tong-rong (張通榮) won the mayoral by-election in Keelung, the Keelung City Election Commission announced yesterday.

The Keelung mayoral post was left vacant after former mayor Hsu Tsai-li (許財利), a KMT member, died in February at the age of 60 from complications caused by chronic heart disease and diabetes.

According to numbers released by the Keelung City Election Commission, Chang garnered 56,115 votes, or 47.4 percent of the vote.

Chang's opponent, People First Party (PFP) Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), who ran as an independent, received 33,956 votes, which accounted for 28.7 percent of the votes.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Shy Shyh-ming (施世明) garnered only 26,908 votes, or 22.7 percent of total votes cast.

Voter turn out for the by-election only reached 40.55 percent, the Keelung City Election Commission said.

"My victory is a result of the support from all of the city's residents. Thank you all very, very much," Chang told supporters who gathered at the headquarters for his campaign.

Prior to running for the mayoral position, Chang served as a Keelung city councilor for four terms and was twice elected speaker of the council.

Liu conceded defeat, saying: "I didn't work hard enough ? and I hope that Chang will fulfill his campaign promises."

The by-election marked Liu's third unsuccessful bid to become Keelung's mayor.

The by-election was closely watched as it served as a test case for the political alliance between the KMT and the PFP.

The two parties reached a tentative agreement in March to jointly recommend a candidate to run in the Keelung mayoral by-election based on the results of public polls.

However, Liu questioned the results of the public polls and decided to run as an independent after the KMT-PFP alliance recommended Chang as the pan-blue camp's candidate.

Both parties said yesterday that the result of the by-election would not affect future cooperation between the KMT and PFP.

However, a possible crack in the alliance occurred at Liu's campaign headquarters when some of his supporters said they would vote for DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), while others said they would support KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Before the voting, Liu said that he would support Ma if he won the Keelung by-election.

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