Mon, Oct 31, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: DPP opens Taichung regional headquarters

PIGGIES, COME HOME:A DPP official said the ‘piggy bank’ donations could maybe set a Guinness World Record when they are given back to Tsai’s campaign in December

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

A woman receives a piggy bank from Democratic Progressive Party workers at Longshan Temple in Taipei City’s Wanhua District yesterday.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) opened its regional presidential campaign headquarters in Greater Taichung yesterday and started distributing piggy banks across the nation in a fundraising drive.

“Each and every one of these piggy banks symbolize people’s expectations of the DPP as well as the DPP’s determination to stand on the side of Taiwanese, rather than big businesses,” DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in Greater Taichung.

“The micro-donations coming from supporters represent the expectations, commitment, recognition and hope they have for the DPP ... a wish to have a new government to lead the country,” she added.

More than 10,000 supporters attended the opening ceremony as Tsai, the DPP’s presidential candidate, personally distributed piggy banks and saw several supporters throwing NT$1,000 bills onto the stage.

The DPP launched a “piggy bank campaign” to help fund Tsai’s bid and to play on a recent government warning after the Control Yuan said earlier this month that it would launch an investigation into the party’s acceptance of three piggy banks donated by children on Oct. 9. The Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) stipulates that only people of voting age and who are eligible to vote are allowed to make political donations.

The DPP turned the warning into a campaign promotion, saying it planned to distribute more than 100,000 piggy banks to supporters nationwide in the coming weeks.

It also announced next month would be “Piggy Banks Month,” during which a series of events will be planned.

At Longshan Temple in Taipei yesterday morning, the DPP’s Taipei City headquarters distributed 5,400 piggy banks to supporters who stood in a long line of more than 500m for hours.

Some of them put money in a donation box without taking piggy banks, while some did both.

An elder citizen surnamed Lin, who was the first in line, said he lived in Guandu (關渡) and arrived at the temple at 8am for the event to “support Taiwan and democracy.”

The DPP, which plans to distribute at least 100,000 piggy banks nationwide, would “invite all the piggies home” some time in December so supporters could bring the donations to Tsai’s campaign at the same time and “maybe break the Guinness World Record for the most piggy banks gathered in one place,” said Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), chief executive of the Taipei City campaign headquarters.

“Interestingly, we found out that few people want blue piggy banks. Maybe we should have them in more colors other than blue, orange and red,” Chuang said.

On Saturday, more than 2,500 piggy banks were distributed at the DPP national campaign headquarters in Banciao District (板橋) in New Taipei City (新北市). Similar events were held at regional campaign headquarters nationwide.

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