The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday renewed its call for Taipei residents to attend a march on Sunday in support of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (陳水扁) re-election bid, emphasizing positives rather than the politically charged theme of anti-corruption.
While the party added anti--corruption and judicial reform to the event following the Nov. 5 acquittal of former president Chen Shui-bian (郝龍斌) in a corruption case, KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) said the main theme of the march would be Taipei’s future.
Titled “A Walk for Taipei — Taipei Flies High,” the march will begin at Taipei City Hall and end at the East (Jingfu) Gate (景福門) in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, where a rally will be held at 6pm.
Responding to the Democratic -Progressive Party’s (DPP) comment that it was inappropriate for the ruling party, which controls the executive and legislative branches, to take to the streets, King said the DPP was criticizing the event before it had even begun, just as it did with the Taipei International Flora Exposition.
“It’s a carnival-like march. When residents come and see for themselves, they will realize that it’s not like what the DPP claims,” King said.
Rather than a means to mobilize supporters, as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said it would be during an interview with Central News Agency on Sunday, King said the march was meant to evoke voters’ experiences and fond memories of the beautiful city.
“As long as the turnout [on Nov. 27] is high, he [Hau] stands a good chance of winning,” King said.
Various polls show Hau and his DPP opponent, former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), locked in a tight race. National Chengchi University’s Prediction Market Center yesterday said the probability that Su would win the election was 50.9 percent, while Hau’s was 49.8 percent.
Hau said Sunday’s march was organized to make Taipei more open and internationalized, adding that he welcomed those who support these ideas to join them.
At a different setting in the afternoon, Su said it was normal for a political party to organize campaign rallies to promote its candidates, but he believed Taipei residents did not want to see confrontation at the event.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that conflict will occur, but residents pay a price one way or another when people take to the streets, Su said.
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