The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday expanded the scope of its weekly Central Standing Committee (CSC) to boost momentum for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election bid and the party’s legislative candidates, with Ma calling for party unity to ensure victories in January’s presidential and legislative elections.
Gathering party delegates in Taipei, Keelung and Yilan City in the first of the nationwide CSC meetings at Taipei’s Datung Sports Center, Ma defended the government’s efforts to revive the economy amid the global financial crisis.
He also pleged that his administration would continue to create a safe environment for Taiwanese by reducing tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
“I have presented more than 400 policies in the past three years, and 90 percent of these policies have been completed or achieved phased goals ... We have successfully reduced tensions across the Taiwan Strait and answered the call of the majority of Taiwanese by building a safe environment for them,” he said.
Amid cheers of “Victory for President Ma Ying-jeou!” and “Home run in the legislative elections!” Ma, who also doubles as KMT chairman, introduced legislative candidates from the three cities and called for unanimous support from party members.
He also praised Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung (張通榮) for their dedication to local development.
However, Hau was absent from the meeting because it clashed with a scheduled session of the Taipei City Council.
The CSC also discussed concerns about the Ma camp’s strategy of attracting swing voters in the face of his tight race against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), with some delegates suggesting that first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) should start participating in campaign activities.
Ma declined to say if his wife would show up at campaign events any time soon.
“I will relay this advice to her and see what she thinks about it,” he said.
Yesterday’s CSC meeting was the first of a series of “out-of-town” meetings the party has organized as part of its campaign events for local candidates. The next CSC weekly meeting will be held in Taoyuan, New Taipei City (新北市), with more scheduled for seven cities and counties in southern Taiwan.