Amid cheers of "Taiwan is moving forward, Taiwan must win," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (
Receiving a red banner from former chairman Lien Chan (
"I joined the election to lead Taiwan forward. Ruling parties can be replaced, but the welfare of the people should never be sacrificed," Ma told the KMT's 17th national congress in Taoyuan.
Over 1,000 party delegates and KMT heavyweights, including Lien, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), all attended the congress to show their support for the Ma-Siew ticket.
To highlight the party's unity and to show respect to both Lien and Wang, the KMT invited Lien to present Ma and Siew with campaign banners and party flags, indicating they would win in the election, while Wang presented party flags to Wu Den-yih to indicate the party's determination to win the legislative election.
While endorsing the Ma-Siew ticket, Wang yesterday declined to confirm whether he would accept the position of campaign director for Ma's camp.
"It's still too early to discuss the issue. I will decide after discussing with the party," Wang said.
Lien yesterday declined to comment on Ma's choice of Siew, who was Lien's vice presidential candidate in the 2000 presidential election, while saying he expected the "iron triangle" of Ma, Siew and Wang to join forces to win the elections.
Expressing the party's determination to win both the legislative and presidential elections, Wu Poh-hsiung pledged to step down as party chairman if the KMT lost the elections.
Addressing the congress, Ma stressed the importance of abiding by the Constitution and respecting the spirit of the dual executive system. He promised to nominate a premier who is acceptable to the legislature, adding that, if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wins a majority in the legislature, he would pick a DPP-affiliated premier.
Vowing to abide by the Constitution, Ma said he would form an evaluation committee to review the Constitution and push for a constitutional reform at a proper time.
Calling on the public to vote out the DPP government for corruption, Ma said he would fight against corruption by establishing a special corruption index, despite his own indictment in February over his alleged misuse of the mayoral allowance fund during his term as Taipei mayor.
Ma also condemned the DPP for damaging the country's space in the international arena and its relations with China, and pledged to adopt a pragmatic approach to participating in international organizations.
On the issue of the economy, Ma said that he would transform Taiwan into a bi-regional airline hub for both the Northeast Asian and Southeast Asian regions, and establish Taiwan as the center of global operations for Taiwanese enterprises.
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