From rock concerts to Minions and free condoms, legislative candidates are going to great lengths to stand out in the nation’s tightest ever race for seats.
The vote for president on Saturday is grabbing the biggest headlines; but a record 556 hopefuls are also running to become legislators in the legislative elections which coincide with the presidential vote, with just 113 seats up for grabs.
The embattled Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) risks losing its legislative majority, with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) hoping to reap the benefits, but 26 smaller parties, many of them new on the political scene, are also gunning for glory and are pulling out all the stops to garner attention.
Rocker and social activist Freddy Lim (林昶佐) of the newly formed New Power Party — which grew out of the student-led Sunflower movement that occupied the legislative in 2014 over the government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade agreement — wooed thousands of supporters when he sang on stage with his heavy metal band Chthonic at a free concert in Taipei last month.
Other candidates and their campaign teams have dressed as cartoon characters, or even stripped for attention.
Liu Shu-fang (劉淑芳), an independent candidate in southern Kaohsiung, removed her dress to expose a red bra at one event.
At other events, campaign teams appeared as Japanese cartoon characters, Hollywood animated movie Minions, and the messaging app Line’s rabbit and bear.
Candidates are also turning to free gifts and memorabilia to get their message across.
Lee Yen-jong (李晏榕), who is standing for the Green Party-Social Democratic Party Alliance, has been giving out free condoms in wrappers printed with her campaign information to promote safe sex.
This year also sees more niche parties trying their luck — the Peace Pigeon Union is campaigning to promote “peaceful land and sea pigeon racing as a legitimate entertainment” to dispel the stigma around the sport.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,