Tue, Sep 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT sees 50/50 chance in central Taiwan elections

By Lin Liang-sheng  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) believes it has a 50-50 chance of winning the year-end elections in central Taiwan and is focusing on securing the support of independent and pan-blue voters, a source close to the party’s election campaign team said.

With the nine-in-one elections only two months away, the gap between the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in most cities and counties in central Taiwan appears to be closing, the party source said.

The campaign team is working on identifying areas where more effort is needed and will ask KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to visit, the source said.

The party’s campaign strategy for the next two months is two-pronged: simultaneously targeting independent voters and pan-blue voters, the source added.

Since late last month, there has been little change in election predictions, except for the time when KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) quit running for Hsinchu County commissioner as an independent, KMT Organizational Development Committee director Lee Che-hua (李哲華) said.

However, it remains to be seen whether recent controversies regarding “comfort women” and the Transitional Justice Commission would have an impact on the elections, he said.

He was referring to the incident in which a Japanese nationalist kicked a statue of a “comfort woman” next to the KMT Tainan chapter’s office, and former Transitional Justice Commission deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) allegedly planning to draft a lustration law targeting former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the KMT’s city mayoral candidate, to turn public opinion against him.

Lee alleged that the DPP has been using government resources to promote its candidates in administrative areas under its control, although it had previously criticized the KMT for doing so when the latter was in power.

Now that the two parties have switched spots, the KMT will be treating the DPP the same way it has treated others, he said.

The party’s assessment of the electoral outlook for Hou remains more or less the same, Lee said, adding that Hou continues to enjoy a small lead over the DPP’s candidate, former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

As for the Taipei mayoral race, it is difficult to predict, as the DPP could still abandon its candidate, DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), who has been trailing in the polls, and support Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent, Lee said.

The KMT needs to continue working to get the most votes it can to win the race, he said.

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