Wed, Dec 14, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Ma to begin battleground ‘home stays’

THE YOUTH VOTE:Ma’s campaign says it has been selectively targeting first-time voters with creative TV commercials, releasing at least one ad each week

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

With the presidential race entering the home stretch, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will embark on more “home stay” trips and attend large-scale rallies throughout northern and central parts of the country in an attempt to rally grassroots support for his re-election bid.

Ma, representing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), will travel to regions such as Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli counties during his home stay trips later this month, visiting local markets and staying overnight in Hakka communities, Ma’s re-election campaign office said.

Ma’s campaign office spokesperson Yin Wei (殷瑋) said the home stays would be arranged during weekdays and the party will organize large-scale campaign rallies in central and southern cities during the weekends with the election just a month away.

“We will enhance our campaign efforts in challenging areas. Central and southern Taiwan are major battlegrounds for us and we will organize large rallies in those areas,” he said.

Ma embarked on a round of home stay trips in Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung last month.

He spent a night at the home f local farmer Chiang Wen-sheng (江文盛) in Fongyuan District (豐原), Greater Taichung, and stayed at a National University of Kaohsiung dormitory.

Beginning next month, the Ma campaign will start using motorcades and arrange to have the president canvassing the streets, he said.

Following the second presidential debate, scheduled for Saturday, the KMT will hold a large-scale campaign event in Greater Taichung the next day. The event hopes to attract farming and fishing groups to boost support for Ma.

KMT spokesperson Lai Su-ju (賴素如) said local farmers and fishermen will be the main focus of the rally, as the KMT seeks to highlight the party’s efforts to keep in touch with the people’s needs.

First lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) has also begun stumping for her husband, focusing her visits in central and southern areas. She visited Chiayi County last week and traveled to Greater Tainan on Monday to solicit support in the pan-green strongholds.

While seeking support from farmers and fishermen, Ma’s campain continued its efforts to attract support from young people, especially first-time voters, through its campaign commercials.

Ma’s campaign spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said the campaign had introduced at least one commercial a week and was using the commercials to explain government policies, such as childbirth subsidies, in a creative way to make it easier for young people to understand.

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