By Lee Hsin-fang
Combating voting-buying will be one of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) main appeals to voters, during next month’s special municipality elections, DPP campaign director-in-chief Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday.
Yu said that his party, while remaining confident that it will win the mayoral elections in the areas that will become Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung, is also hopeful that Taipei mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and mayoral candidate for what will become Sinbei City, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), will prevail in their races against their Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) opponents.
Yu, who has just returned from visiting the US and Canada, said DPP supporters abroad all thought Su stood a good chance of defeating Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) of the KMT because the latter is ensnared in a scandal relating to the Xinsheng Overpass reconstruction project.
Even so, Yu said pan-green supporters should not let down their guard.
“Old habits die hard,” Yu said, as he expressed concern over the possibility of vote-buying, pointing to the KMT’s history in which several KMT candidates have been indicted or found guilty on vote-buying charges in last year’s three-in-one elections and the latest legislative elections.
“If the KMT buys a vote, the DPP loses a vote,” Yu said.
Since vote-buying would significantly impact the DPP’s electoral outlook, Yu said he has called on his party to remain particularly -attuned to the matter.
Yu added that he believed as the campaign enters its final days, the KMT would roll out all sorts of election gimmicks, among which, Yu said, the KMT is best known for spending money on advertisements geared to smearing the DPP.
Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡), who heads the DPP’s Taipei County branch, said he has recently heard rumors of the pan-blue camp engaging in vote-buying behavior, although he added that he could not verify the veracity of the claims.
“The DPP surely has to do something about it [the vote-buying issue],” Wu said. “When I hear the pan-blue camp proclaiming its confidence for its election performance, sometimes I wonder if that confidence is backed up by vote-buying.”
Elections for the five special -municipalities will take place on Nov. 27 in Taipei City, Sinbei City (新北市, the upgraded Taipei County), Greater Taichung (a merger of Taichung City and Taichung County), Greater Tainan (a merger of Tainan City and Tainan County) and Greater Kaohsiung (a merger of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County).