The opposition yesterday panned Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) for overtly relying on his father’s influence amid his sliding performance in the most recent polls.
Lien denied the allegations, saying that his father was simply trying to integrate different factions within the party.
Lien’s father, former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), reportedly treated Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and other Taipei area KMT legislators to a dinner on Wednesday night, and appealed for their support and assistance in his son’s campaign.
A recent public opinion poll published by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed 43.69 percent of respondents favoring independent candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) over Sean Lien, who had 23.83 percent of respondents’ vote.
Sean Lien yesterday played down the importance of the dinner, saying that it was — like every campaign activity in the past two months — seeking to unify the party.
He added that once a consensus has been achieved within the party there would be a solid base to build on.
When asked by reporters whether he would be launching his campaign headquarters soon, Sean Lien — in what some observers interpreted as a joke — said that he may establish a digital headquarters, adding that plans for an actual headquarters were still months off.
Ko, who is backed by the Democratic Progressive Party, said that it was natural for a father to help his son, adding that the media should not maliciously criticize others.
He made his remarks at an event commemorating the US Independence Day holiday, which is today.
Commenting on purported comments by KMT legislators suggesting that Sean Lien was avoiding getting into a war of words with Ko, the independent candidate said it was a good suggestion, because a war of words held no significance.
Meanwhile, speaking at an event hosted by his foundation yesterday afternoon, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said that Sean Lien was an adult and should learn to take care of himself instead of relying on his father.
“Lien Chan is not the mayoral candidate and he has no experience as mayor,” Lee said.
However, Lien Chan’s office spokesperson Ting Yuan-chao (丁遠超) said that Lien Chan was concerned not only for his son, but also for the party as a whole.
“The dinner meeting was primarily a meeting between old friends,” Ting said, adding that the guests had asked about the upcoming elections and shared their views with Sean Lien, who was present.
Ko visited Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) yesterday morning and reportedly discussed Taipei policies for more than half an hour.
Ko said he invited the TSU to help in the campaign and election, in hopes to pool pan-green bloc resources.