Sat, Nov 29, 2014 - Page 3 News List

2014 ELECTIONS: Taichung candidates hold election-eve rallies

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, in Greater Taichung

Accompanied by supporters, the Democratic Progressive Party’s Taichung mayoral candidate, Lin Chia-lung, center left, canvasses for votes on foot in the city yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The election-eve campaigns of two Greater Taichung mayoral candidates separately attracted thousands of supporters yesterday, with each event featuring a “special guest” showing their support for the candidates, either in person or via video.

Incumbent Taichung Mayor Jason Hu’s (胡志強) campaign featured President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).

Ma, who doubles as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, praised Hu’s achievements during his time in office and said: “If Hu gets elected, there will be no shortage of budget allocated from the central government for his promised constructions.”

The KMT’s Hu said the Pingtung County farmer who provided tip-offs in the recent cooking oil scandal had agreed to show his support, but was turned town by Hu out of security concerns. The farmer appeared in a video shown during the event to express his gratitude to Greater Taichung’s police in the oil scandal.

Hu’s rally site, an open space next to a shopping mall and surrounded by newly built luxury high-rise apartments, was filled with supporters in groups led by people upholding plates with district names. The event also saw police stationed at the entrance checking people’s backpacks as it was rumored that protesters might come to interrupt the event.

The outdoor theater in a forest park chosen by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung mayoral candidate Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) for his election-eve rally was similarly packed. The “mystery guests” invited by the team turned out to be the sister and uncle of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), whose death — allegedly from abuse while serving in the military — had brought tens of thousands protesters onto the streets to protest against the military abuses of human rights.

Hung’s sister, Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸), said she was grateful for Lin’s attention and care even after the publicity over the tragedy had faded.

Lin’s wife, Liao Wan-ju (廖婉如), who said she was speaking on stage for Lin for the first time since Lin went into politics, said that although Hu has been touting his achievements in the urban areas of Greater Taichung, he had failed to see “the widened urban-rural divide in the downtown area, let alone in outer Taichung.”

Lin echoed the concern, adding that as Hu “has already been in office for 14 years,” it is time to pass the baton to someone else.

“Be grateful to Hu, and vote for Lin,” he told a cheering crowd. “Let’s together say goodbye to Mayor Hu and welcome the new era with Lin as the helmsman.”

Lin’s event was also attended by DPP heavyweights.

Former DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former Presidential Office secretary-general Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) all appeared at the event to show their support.

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