Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday called on voters in southern parts of the country, traditionally a stronghold for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to support President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to make his re-election campaign a success.
Addressing the launch of Ma’s campaign office for the Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung areas, Wang said Ma had demonstrated brilliant leadership over the past three years and two months, effectively leading the country during various difficulties at home and abroad.
He said the president steered the country through the global economic crisis from 2008 to 2009 and played an influential role in Taiwan’s signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China, further cementing ties between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan has also scored handsomely on the diplomacy front under Ma’s leadership, including a record number of nations granting Republic of China passport holders visa-free privileges, Wang said.
Stumping for Ma in the traditionally pan-green Kaohsiung and Pingtung areas, Wang called for voters to “turn the green south blue.”
The KMT leads the pan-blue camp, which also includes the New Party and the People First Party (PFP).
Wang’s stumping for Ma was seen in part as a confidence booster for the president, with PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) reportedly ready to throw his hat into the ring for the Jan. 14 presidential election.
Soong would likely split the pan-blue vote if he enters the race, as he did in the presidential election in 2000, which saw the KMT lose power for the first time in Taiwan’s history.