The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two leading candidates in the Taipei mayoral race have stepped up their campaigns during an intense two-day poll to help determine the party’s nomination.
KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) invited Taipei Computer Association president Tung Tsu-hsien (童子賢) and news commentator Tsai Shih-ping (蔡詩萍) to stump for him at a campaign rally on Sunday.
Also showing up to support Ting was a woman who pushed the Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance Act (強制汽車責任保險法) through the legislature in 1996, former Republic of China Car Accident Rescuer Association chairperson Ko Tsai Yu-chiung (柯蘇玉瓊).
She described Ting as a person “who has always stood on the side of the people and the socially disadvantaged” and said he was the only lawmaker to strongly back her two-decade campaign to promote the act, while many others tried to block it.
The 59-year-old Ting, a legislator since 1990 except for three years from 2002 to 2005, expressed his gratitude to the many friends who came to support him.
“Facing the enormous resources of my competitor, I will climb up against the wind,” Ting said.
He was alluding to former EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文), the 44-year-old son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), who is seen as a rising star in the party and the frontrunner in the race.
A member of the KMT’s Central Committee, Sean Lien yesterday also campaigned for public support along with his wife, Tsai Yi-shan (蔡依珊), at a charity gala in Neihu District (內湖).
While Tsai used her warm smile to canvas support, Sean Lien promoted his vision of rebalancing the city’s development by revitalizing western Taipei and upgrading the already vibrant eastern part of the city.
Sean Lien also trumpeted a list of advisers he has recruited to help him develop policies to achieve his vision.
They include former minister of the interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源), former Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman Schive Chi (薛琦), sina.com cofounder Ben Tsiang (蔣顯斌) and former minister of education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基).
Sean Lien said the team is to help him address such issues as disaster control and prevention, urban renewal, financial affairs, and culture and innovation.
Although there has been little mudslinging during the primary campaign, the candidates have traded barbs.
Sean Lien described Ting as an older-generation politician who is out of touch with the times lacks, imagination, cannot go against the grain and is closed to creativity.
Ting said that Sean Lien’s idea of relocating Taipei City Hall to the older western part of the city was a waste of money.
“Bad policy is worse than corruption,” he said.
The KMT primary for the Taipei mayoral nomination consists of a public opinion poll, which was conducted Sunday and yesterday, and a vote by party members in the city to be held on Saturday.
The poll is to account for 70 percent of the final tally and the vote contributing the remaining 30 percent. The nominee is to be announced on Wednesday next week
KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) and City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平) are also vying for the nomination, but are seen as having little chance of success.