In response to recent comments about her age, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who aspires to win the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nomination for the Taipei mayoral election next year, yesterday said that it is the “brain” rather than “age” that matters.
“The way I see it, the media and some politicians should stop dwelling on the subject and move on to the more substantial issues. The fact that [former premier] Yu Shyi-kun (游錫) won the New Taipei City (新北市) primary and [former Keelung mayor] Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) won in Yunlin County says it all: Voters do not care about age,” Lu said.
There have been heated discussions about the trio’s age, in particular about Lu, 69, and Yu, 65, as Lu is interested in running in Taipei and Yu in New Taipei City — two of the largest constituencies in the local elections in December next year. Lee is 62.
Most critics say that Lu and Yu’s insistence about staying in the elections could be an obstacle to the DPP’s generational shift and that “old faces” would make it difficult to generate younger voter support.
Lu insisted that she was able and that she entered the race with a larger strategic objective, rather than satisfying personal ambitions.
She cited the example of the 1997 local elections, in which the DPP secured New Taipei City, Taoyuan County and Yilan County, saying that this success paved the way for the party’s victory in the presidential election three years later.
While most DPP members are not complacent because of close losses in Taipei and New Taipei City, Lu, who has never lost an election in her career, said she was determined to win and knew how to win.
Her success was not even a secret, Lu said, adding that she has always worked hard and tried to touch people’s hearts before appealing for their support.
Four DPP aspirants, including Lu; lawyer Wellington Ku (顧立雄), incumbent lawmaker Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and Taipei City Council deputy speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅), have shown interest in the DPP primary for the Taipei mayoral election. However, independent Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), director of National Taiwan University’s Department of Traumatology, whose support rate has topped all pan-green camp aspirants, has been a strong wildcard challenger.
Lu would have to win the DPP primary and defeat Ko before winning the nomination if the DPP was eventually to agree to negotiate with Ko for a better chance to win.
Citing a recent public opinion poll as her endorsement, the former vice president said that despite Ko finishing ahead in overall support, more independent voters favored her over Ko, showing that she had what it takes to garner swing voters’ support, which would be crucial to winning Taipei.
Meanwhile, Yu also played down the importance of age and laughed off the description of him and Lu as “Five Royal Lords,” a mischievous term that takes a jab at their age.
“According to folk tradition, the Five Royal Lords were known for their capability to protect the people and country. In fact, [being described as a Royal Lord] was an honor,” Yu said after he won the party primary on Tuesday.
Like Lu, the former premier, who served as Yilan County commissioner for eight years, also stressed experience over age in politics and highlighted his resolution to win the constituency.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last