Tue, Nov 21, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP hopefuls look to Lai for support

By Yang Chun-hui and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Aside from President and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier William Lai (賴清德), known for his grassroots connections, is viewed as a valuable asset as the party prepares for next year’s local elections.

The elections are to take place either on Nov. 24 or Dec. 1 next year, pending a final decision by the Central Election Commission.

Lai has been visiting local constituencies throughout the nation over the past few days to talk to voters about the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and other government policies, a move that should help boost the party’s support base ahead of the elections, political watchers said.

Lai’s first visit was to Pingtung County on Friday.

The premier was warmly received, Pingtung County Government spokesman Huang Chien-chia (黃建嘉) said, adding that Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Men-an (潘孟安), a DPP member, plans to run for a second term.

Lai’s approval ratings are high and he will be a major player in assisting the campaigns of other candidates, Huang said, adding that DPP county councilor aspirants hope the premier will visit the county more often.

DPP Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪), who has been chosen by the party to run for Taitung County commissioner, said Lai would visit Taitung later this week.

Liu said he hoped Lai and members of the Cabinet would make several more trips to better understand the county’s situation.

The visits will also be helpful to his campaign as well as strengthen support for the party among the county’s voters, Liu added.

The DPP is scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday next week, during which Tsai will announce the list of commissioners and mayors who will run for re-election.

Several candidates hope to appear on stage with Lai and Tsai given their importance as representatives of the party leadership, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said.

Nine commissioners and mayors have already expressed their intention to be present at the news conference, she said.

Candidates have been looking for Lai’s public support, Hsu said, citing DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui’s (吳秉叡) invitation to Lai to join him and others on a hiking excursion.

Wu is planning to run for New Taipei City mayor.

“If the DPP has a high approval rating, then standing on that stage next to the president, the premier and other leaders will be worth a lot,” Hsu said.

This story has been viewed 2179 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top