Thu, Aug 05, 2010 - Page 3 News List

KMT top brass canvass in Kaohsiung

DENIALSThe party’s secretary-general dismissed being involved in a DPP official’s decision to enter the Greater Kaohsiung race and split the opposition party’s vote

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) heavyweights traveled to Kao­hsiung yesterday to campaign for Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), the party’s candidate in the Greater Kaohsiung mayoral race, amid reports of a possible split in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), in his capacity as KMT chairman, said the party had decided to hold its weekly Central Standing Committee meeting outside Taipei starting this week, adding that the KMT would not change its campaign strategy following the announcement by DPP Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) of his intention to join the Kaohsiung race as an independent.

“We are here today to give our support to Huang and campaign for her. Recent incidents in Kaohsiung have nothing to do with our holding the meeting in Kaohsiung,” he said when addressing the committee at Kaohsiung Dajung Junior High School.

Yang on Tuesday declared his intention to join the Greater Kao­hsiung mayoral election despite losing the DPP primary to Kao­hsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊). Local factions in Kaohsiung and the DPP have alleged that the KMT had been involved in persuading Yang to join the race as an independent in an attempt to cause a split in the DPP.

KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) again dismissed allegations that he had played a role in persuading Yang to throw his hat in the ring, while declining to comment on speculation that the KMT may give up Huang and turn its support to Yang, counting on his larger support base to defeat Chen in the election.

Huang expressed confidence in the election.

“It is impossible [for the KMT to support Yang instead.] The pan-blue camp would never adopt such an election strategy,” she said.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said Yang’s presence in the race had created an opportunity for Huang to attract more support and raise her approval rating.

Huang yesterday presented a report on the development of Kao­hsiung, vowing to revive the city’s economy by taking advantage of the newly signed cross-strait ­Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

She accused Chen of marginalizing Kaohsiung and promised to develop the Port of Kaohsiung and establish economic and trade zones in the city to attract more Taiwanese businesspeople in China to invest back home after the ECFA comes into effect.

Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County, both of which are traditional DPP strongholds, will be merged later this year to become a special municipality as part of a major administrative district restructuring plan.

The Greater Kaohsing mayoral election will take place on Nov. 27.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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