Representatives of the three pairs of presidential and vice presidential candidates drew numbers for their numerical designations on the ballot at the Central Election Commission yesterday, with the Democratic Progressive Party’s Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her running mate, Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), getting No. 1, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and his running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), getting No. 2 and the People First Party’s (PFP) James Soong (宋楚瑜) and his running mate, Lin Ruey-shiung (林瑞雄), getting No. 3.
All three pairs did not show up, rather, former National Youth Commission head Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) drew the number for Tsai, while Vice President Vicent Siew (蕭萬長) drew for Ma. Originally, PFP Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生) was to draw the number for the Soong-Lin ticket, however, he did not arrive on time as he was stuck in traffic and so Central Election Commission Chairperson Chang Po-ya (張博雅) drew the number for Soong instead.
As soon as the number was drawn, Ma’s campaign office staffers shouted “good things come in two, the re-election will succeed,” Tsai’s campaign staffers shouted “Taiwan’s first female president,” while Soong’s campaign staffers said “three is the lucky number.”
Outside the venue, Soong’s supporters shouted: “Third time’s a charm.”
Tsai learned of the outcome of the draw right after finishing her worship to Matsu, the Taoist goddess of the sea, at Luerhman Tianhou Temple in Greater Tainan on the final day of her five-day trip along the west coast.
She was cheerful over her drawn designation, saying it was a fitting result.
The information was also relayed to hundreds of supporters gathering outside the temple at the same time and DPP staffers immediately began to distribute placards with the number “1.”
Supporters began chanting “Taiwan’s first female president” with the placards in their hands as Tsai stepped out of the temple.
“Matsu looks after the DPP and helped us get the No. 1 designation. I hope that represents Taiwan’s first female president and that the DPP will finish first in the elections,” Tsai told the cheering crowds.
Tsai, who traveled through Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung yesterday, praised supporters in Tainan for their unwavering support of the DPP — even during the party’s darkest days.
She called for people to support a fair and mature election so that the world would recognize Taiwan as a mature and fair democracy.
Meanwhile, Ma, during a visit in Pingtung County, gave a victory-sign hand gesture in response his drawing of the No. 2 and said the number signified his re-election next month.
“No. 2 will win the re-election. Bravo, Taiwan,” Ma said.
Ma’s re-election campaign office immediately put the election number on the giant campaign poster of Ma and Wu outside its headquarters.
Ma’s campaign spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said No. 2 was also the president’s election number for the 2008 election and the camp expected the number to bring luck for the Ma-Wu ticket in this election.