As the Lunar New Year approaches, politicians, including several senior Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members likely eyeing a run in next year’s presidential race, have been distributing spring festival couplets emblazoned with their signatures.
The Year of the Pig begins on Tuesday next week.
Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), the first from the KMT to declare his intention to run for president next year, has sent out 350,000 copies of a couplet that reads: “Good fortune in everything” (諸事大吉), Chu’s office said on Sunday, adding that it is having an additional 100,000 couplets printed.
Nearly 100 local politicians, including legislators, councilors and borough wardens, have sent out the couplets with Chu’s signature, while others have asked for a digital version so that they can make their own copies, the office said.
Former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), whose ambiguous remarks have fueled speculation that he might run for president, has printed 36,000 copies of couplets that encourage social, household and national harmony.
KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), another KMT member that is rumored in the media to want the party’s presidential nomination, has a signed couplet that reads: “Everything goes smoothly when one has good fortune” (福滿諸事吉), sending 30,000 copies to local chapters for supporters.
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has prepared 250,000 copies of a couplet in his own calligraphy, with several party members saying that Ma’s is the most popular couplet among KMT supporters, due to his popularity and the traditional format of his couplets.
Party members are also more willing to distribute Ma’s couplet because he is the former president, which sidesteps seeming to be backing any of the party’s possible presidential nominees this early in the running, they said.
The Presidential Office Building has been distributing couplets and red envelopes signed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) to those visiting it from Jan. 15 to Friday. Local Democratic Progressive Party politicians have also been distributing them to supporters.
Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui
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