President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday stepped up his re-election campaign in New Taipei City (新北市), the nation’s largest electoral district with 3,074,849 voters.
Accompanied by New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Ma drew large crowds in Banciao (板橋), Jhonghe (中和) and Yonghe (永和) districts, with passionate supporters blocking roads, stopping the progress of Ma’s motorcade for a while.
He also received a passionate response during campaign visits to Taipei’s veteran communities, Dihua Street and the Ninxia Night Market later yesterday.
When asked whether his two daughters, who now live in the US, would return and vote, Ma said they would return, but they would not be joining him on his final day of campaigning today.
Meanwhile in Miaoli County, former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) urged pan-blue supporters to vote for Ma for the greater good of the nation.
“Every ballot counts,” he said.
KMT spokeswoman Lai Su-ju (賴素如) also called on the party’s supporters to vote for Ma instead of worrying about the impact of People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜), who analysts say could leach pan-blue votes from the KMT.
Lai said she was cautiously optimistic and confident that Ma’s achievements as president would win over voters.
Executive director of Ma’s re-election campaign office, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), declined to confirm reports that the camp estimated that Ma would win by at least 500,000 votes, saying the campaign team was focusing its efforts on consolidating support in the final days before the elections.
Today, Ma is scheduled to visit Miaoli County, a major Hakka constituency, before traveling to Greater Kaohsiung to join first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) to canvass for support. He is scheduled to attend three campaign rallies in Greater Kaohsiung, Greater Taichung and Taipei.
Additional reporting by CNA