The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will step up its efforts to cultivate local talent and deepen it relations with grassroots supporters in an attempt to expand its support base in central and southern cities.
The result of Saturday’s presidential and legislative elections boosted the party’s morale, as several legislative candidates who joined the election for the first time had better-than--expected performances in challenging locations.
Legislative candidates in the KMT’s so-called “assassin team,” which aimed to gain more support in pan-green strongholds by running fresh faces, including Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) in Greater Tainan, Chen Yi-chen (陳以真) in Chiayi and Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文) in Greater Taichung, lost the elections in those areas to the DPP, but only by small margins, prompting the party to step up its efforts to expand its support base in those areas.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), presiding over the KMT’s Central Standing Committee on Wednesday, touted the campaigns of the candidates that attracted support in the cities and said he expected them to continue to focus their attention on the cities so the party could deepen its ties with grassroots supporters.
“Some experienced legislators suffered defeat in the legislative election, but we also saw great performances from some party members who ran in an election for the first time. I believe we will have a better performance in four years if we work hard, starting now,” he said.
Premier and vice president-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) also encouraged the candidates to spend more time in their electoral districts and to consolidate their support base in the cities, while urging the party to discover more talent and to seek more gains in central and southern cities, where the pan-blue camp has less support than the pan-green camp.
“We must cultivate local talent and raise more promising stars in the party. That would be very important for us to expand our support in the south,” he said.