President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who also serves as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, yesterday urged party members to put more effort into consolidating support in the south, and pledged to continue with party reform.
Ma told top government and party officials attending a New Year gathering at KMT headquarters he was concerned about the party’s decline in support in southern Taiwan in the aftermath of last November’s special municipality elections, and expected the party to work for victories in next year’s legislative and presidential elections.
“The KMT was confronted with a lot of challenges last year. Although we did not lose last year’s elections, we should be very aware of the votes we lost in the south, and make more of an effort to gain support in the center and south,” he said.
The KMT retained its hold on Taipei City, Taipei County — which became New Taipei City (新北市) — and the Taichung area (now Greater Taichung), while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) maintained control of (Greater) Tainan and (Greater) Kaohsiung.
The total vote-count, however, was in the DPP’s favor as the party won 3,772,373 votes — accounting for 49.9 percent of all votes cast in both mayoral and councilor elections in the five special municipalities against the KMT’s 3,369,052 votes — or 44.5 percent.
Compared with the 2008 presidential election, in which Ma received more than 4.5 million votes in Taipei City, Kaohsiung City and the areas that became the three new special municipalities, the KMT lost more than 1 million votes in November, while the DPP gained more than 340,000 votes.
Ma said he expected the KMT to react as fast as a rabbit in the Year of the Rabbit, enhance its communication with the public, and seek victories in next month’s legislative by-election as well as the next legislative and presidential election.
Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), were among those attending the gathering.