Thu, Dec 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Ma focuses final campaigning on Yilan

'PLEASE SUPPORT LU' Ma will spend the evening before the election in Yilan and Hsinchu counties, after stumping for candidates in Hualien and Taitung today

By Mo Yan-chih and Jenny W. Hsu  /  Staff Reporters

Democratic Progressive Party Chiayi County commissioner candidate Chang Hwa-kuan, second right, speaks after accepting a T-shirt from Chthonic lead singer Freddy Lim, second left, at a campaign event in Chiayi County yesterday.

PHOTO: WANG SHAN-YEN, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday visited Yilan County again to focus his final campaigning efforts on the eastern county’s commissioner election.

Ma spent yesterday afternoon canvassing votes with Yilan County Commissioner Lu Kuo-hua (呂國華), who is seeking re-election. He called on voters to give Lu and the KMT another four years to develop the county.

“We hope that Lu can make good use of his experiences in the past four years and continue his policies over the next four years. Please support Lu and help him win the election,” Ma said yesterday at Lu’s campaign headquarters.

It was Ma’s ninth visit to the county since campaigning formally began last month. The KMT took the county from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the three-in-one elections four years ago. Ma will spend the evening before the election in Yilan and Hsinchu counties to seek support for Lu and Hsinchu County commissioner candidate Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳).

Ma is scheduled to visit Hualien and Taitung today. As the KMT faces a split in Hualien County, he will campaign for party candidate Tu Li-hua (杜麗華) this afternoon against independent candidate Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), whose KMT membership was revoked after he insisted on running in the election.

KMT Spokesman Lee Chien-jung (李建榮) yesterday continued attacking the DPP, accusing it of ignoring its own bribery record and exaggerating corruption cases linked to the KMT.

Lee also questioned the motives of senior DPP politicians campaigning for DPP candidates.

Former premiers Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) have attacked Ma while campaigning for local candidates, while former DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun talked about running in next year’s Taipei mayoral election.

“Su and Hsieh are using the campaign activities to promote their bids for the presidential election in 2012,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, DPP Chiayi County commissioner candidate Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠) yesterday resigned from the legislature to demonstrate her resolve to run a bribe-free race.

The DPP headquarters lauded her “courageous” decision and urged her Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rival Wong Chun-chung (翁重鈞) to follow suit.

The 55-year-old Chang announced she would leave the legislature at a press conference with Chiayi Commissioner Chen Ming-wen (陳明文).

“It is a serious duty to be the party’s nominee for Chiayi County commissioner. My mission is to safeguard the Taiwan-centric, pan-green policies and force the China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou [馬英九] to learn to respect public opinion,” she said.

It was clear that the KMT was using vote-buying as a last ditch effort to woo votes in the remaining three days of campaigning, she said, adding that a KMT victory is a defeat for the people of Taiwan.

“We must teach Ma a lesson by disappointing the KMT at the polls,” she said.

DPP Spokesman Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) called on Wong to resign, as Chang had.

Meanwhile, Tsai urged the public to uphold democracy by refusing to sell their votes and said the Ministry of Justice must make every effort to stop vote-buying.

The DPP said that 17 KMT candidates had either been indicted or accused of buying votes ahead of Saturday’s elections.

“The last three days before the race are always the height of vote-buying. The Ministry of Justice must step up its efforts to catch the perpetrators and stop this awful election trick once and for all,” the spokesman said.

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