Sun, Aug 19, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ma seeks to rally troops in lead-up to key elections

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday called for better communication between local governments and the central government and urged greater efficiency in executing government policies as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) reinstated negotiations with local government heads in the lead up to the 2014 local government polls.

Ma, who is also KMT chairman, instructed the Cabinet and local governments under KMT governance to make greater efforts to boost the nation’s economy amid the harsh global financial situation.

“We are facing harsh economic times and the central government is addressing the financial difficulties with caution. Local governments also face financial difficulties and it is important for the KMT to confront the difficulties and revive the economy,” Ma said at the meeting held at the New Taipei City Hall.

Ma addressed the meeting as he led top Cabinet officials including Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) and Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) to meet with local KMT government heads, including Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), in a bid to strengthen party unity at a time when the Ma administration is suffering from low levels of popular support.

“The local elections for government heads in two years will see the election of 11,000 local-level government officials and we must start preparing now. The KMT is a big family and all opinions can be discussed within the party. We need to join forces as a party and let the people feel our efforts to improve their overall environment,” Ma said.

New Taipei City (新北市)Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), one of the KMT’s hopefuls for the 2016 presidential election, echoed Ma’s call for party unity while urging the Cabinet to cooperate more with local governments.

“The central government and local governments should work together and boost the economy, as a better economic environment is what people really need right now,” Ma said.

The negotiations are to serve as a major communication platform within the KMT ahead of the 2014 local government elections with the party planning to hold the meeting at different cities.

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