Sat, Mar 05, 2011 - Page 3 News List

By-election campaign reaches end

UPHILL FIGHT:The son of former three-term legislator Hsu Chih-ming remained confident of his chances in Kaohsiung, but said the KMT would face a tough battle

By Mo Yan-chih and Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporters

Former vice president Annette Lu, right, and former premier Su Tseng-chang, left, share a light moment yesterday after they met by coincidence at a meeting for Democratic -Progressive Party members in Taoyuan County yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Heavyweights from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday put in a last-ditch effort as they canvassed the streets for support for their respective candidates ahead of today’s legislative by-elections in Greater Tainan and Kaohsiung.

Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and KMT Secretary--General Liao Liao-yi (廖了以) traveled to Greater Tainan yesterday to campaign for KMT legislative candidate Chen Shu-huei (陳淑慧) in traditional pan-blue support bases at veterans’ communities. Calling on supporters to come out and vote in today’s by-election, Chen said turnout would be a decisive factor in the election result.

According to the director of the KMT’s Tainan branch, Su Ming-kuo (蘇明國), the expected turnout is about 40 percent.

In Greater Kaohsiung, KMT candidate Hsu Ching-huang (徐慶煌), the son of former three-term DPP legislator Hsu Chih-ming (徐志明), was also busy soliciting support on the streets.

He said that although the KMT is fighting a tough battle in -Kaohsiung, he remained confident about expanding his support base as a native of the city.

KMT spokesman Fang Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said the KMT lost only 5,000 votes in Tainan in the previous legislative election and remained positive about the election result in Greater Kaohsiung.

“We are confident about the -election result as long as our supporters come out and vote,” he said.

The two legislative seats became vacant after William Lai (賴清德) of the DPP was elected mayor of Greater Tainan and Chen Chi-yu (陳啟昱), also a DPP member, was appointed deputy mayor of Greater Kaohsiung.

The KMT are taking the local by-elections seriously, as the party has lost several significant elections since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008. In the five municipality elections last year, the KMT took three of five cities, but the overall support rate was less than that of the DPP.

Meanwhile, DPP big guns and by-election candidates yesterday called on voters not to presume that DPP candidates have a good chance of winning, and thus let their guard down by not going to the polls today.

DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) spent most of the day accompanying DPP legislative -candidate Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) in Greater Tainan, appealing to voters for support.

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) also shared the stage with Hsu at a campaign rally last night.

In Greater Kaohsiung, Su Tseng-chang, Su Jia-chyuan and Tsai made a separate appearance with DPP candidate Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) soliciting voter support before holding a rally last night during which Tsai, Lu, Su Tseng-chang and Frank Hsieh made an appearance in support of Lin.

Saying that the by-elections would have an impact on the party’s electoral outlook in the next presidential and legislative elections, Su Tseng-chang called on voters to support the DPP so the party could win the by-elections and carry the momentum into the next elections.

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