Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: Thousands attend KMT rally in Kaohsiung

TAKING IT ALL:KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu has accused Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu of leading the city into debt and creating social division at an election rally

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, in KAOHSIUNG

Tens of thousands of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters yesterday flooded into Kaohsiung to demonstrate their support for the party’s presidential candidate, Eric Chu (朱立倫), in the run-up to tomorrow’s elections.

Despite the cold weather, participants started arriving at an outdoor square next to the Dream Mall in Cianjhen (前鎮) District half an hour before a large rally was scheduled to begin at 6pm.

Flanked by security personnel, Chu and vice presidential candidate Jennifer Wang (王如玄) made a grand entrance at the rally to a backdrop of the deafening chants of their supporters.

“Today, I can feel all of your enthusiasm and expectations... Over the past two weeks, I braved heavy rain, hot weather and even the cold to canvass for votes across the country, because I know every minute of every day counts,” Chu told the crowd.

Chu said he did not run in the elections for himself or the KMT, but rather for the Republic of China (ROC) and its people.

What future generations hope for are social stability and economic development, Chu said, adding that while the KMT has made its fair share of mistakes in the past years, the good the party has achieved must be continued.

“Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said you cannnot wake someone up who is pretending to be asleep. She is mistaken. I say we, the conscious voters, will not be fooled by her empty promises,” Chu said.

During the rally the KMT screened videos critical of the DPP and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who has governed the municipality since December 2006.

The narrator said under Chen’s governance, the city has racked up the highest debt in the nation and saw a record-high 95 deaths from dengue fever last year.

It also accused the DPP of putting its goal of creating social divisions above the nation’s international status.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said a victory for Tsai in tomorrow’s presidential election would pose a threat to cross-strait peace.

“The DPP claims it does not want to take it all, but it has set its eyes on winning both the presidency and a majority in the legislature. How is that not taking it all?” Wang said, calling on voters to help Chu win the presidential election and the KMT garner a legislative majority.

KMT Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) said while the KMT’s momentum has been reinvigorated, many pan-blue supporters are still angry with the party.

“Under the KMT’s rule over the past seven-and-a-half years, the number of countries and regions granting visa-free status or landing visa privileges to Taiwanese has climbed to 116, with more than 10 million foreign tourists visiting Taiwan last year,” Lee said. “While we have made stellar achievements, there are still areas where we could have done better. Our supporters, please do not be mad at the party for too long. If you let the DPP regain power, you might be furious for four or even eight years.”

KMT legislative candidate Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), who is vying for a seat in Kaohsiung’s third electoral constituency, said tomorrow’s elections would be a battle between justice and a DPP-led “corruption ring.”

“Let us use our ballots to kick the corruption ring out of Kaohsiung,” Chang said.

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