Fri, Dec 02, 2011 - Page 3 News List

ELECTION 2012: Ma to focus on policies in debate

NO PREP TIME:The president’s aides said he had little time to prepare for the debate because of his campaign duties and that he could only discuss strategies late at night

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will explain government policies and defend his administration’s achievements honestly and sincerely in a televised debate tomorrow, Ma’s re-election campaign office said yesterday, while expressing concern about Ma’s lack of preparation because of his busy schedule.

Ma’s re-election campaign spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said Ma had little spare time to prepare for the debate, and could only discuss debate strategies with aides at night. Ma’s aides suggested that he focus on explaining government policies, which are what voters care about.

“The president will explain government policies and share [his administration’s] achievements in the past three years as a solid foundation for the debate. His familiarity with policies will be his strong suit, while our best strategy is to have the president present himself in a natural and sincere way,” he said.

The first presidential debate will be held tomorrow afternoon at the Public Television Service station, followed by another one on Dec. 17. A debate for vice presidential candidates will be held on Dec. 10.

Ma’s aides, including campaign office executive director King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), deputy executive director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) and Yin, assisted the president with preparations.

Commenting on Ma’s opponents in the presidential election, Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), Yin described Tsai as a skilled negotiator and Soong as a great debater.

“Chairperson Tsai is a skilled negotiator who always avoids answering negative questions. We also see traditional DPP rhetoric, with sharp accusations and vicious comments in Tsai’s campaign. Chairman Soong, as we know, has always been an eloquent politician,” he said.

Ma has been devoting time to preparing information on government policies rather than studying debating skills, seeking to persuade voters with solid policies, Yin said.

First Lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) will accompany Ma to the debate, Ma’s camp said, adding that it would also invite people of various ethnic backgrounds, such as Hakka, Taiwanese and Aborigines, and those with different occupations to attend the event.

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