Thu, Jun 13, 2019 - Page 3 News List

DPP polls, Lai motorcade reach ends

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Former premier William Lai, center, prays in a ceremony at a temple in New Taipei City yesterday.

Photo: Chen Hsin-yu, Taipei Times

As the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) primary polling entered the final stretch, former premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday received a boost in his challenge to become the party’s presidential nominee when prominent local councilors accompanied him as he canvassed for support in New Taipei City.

The polling was to be completed late yesterday night, DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said.

“The results will be announced tomorrow [Thursday] at about noon,” he told reporters.

The three days of polling to gauge support for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Lai was conducted in telephone interviews, with equal weighting for landline and cellphone surveys, he added.

“The telephone polling data would be checked tomorrow and some individual cases are to be verified before the announcement is made,” Cho said.

“We will absolutely ensure that the results can stand up to scrutiny and could be trusted by the public,” he added.

Top DPP officials have heard of some complaints and disputes related to the telephone interviews, “but these were only a few cases, which could be due to misunderstandings, problems communicating over the telephone, or people spreading rumors,” Cho said.

“However, we take all complaints seriously and will verify these cases,” he said. “We want to the results to be credible and trusted by the public.”

Cho also called for unity among DPP supporters, saying: “I urge everyone to stop attacks against the two candidates, as we have seen mudslinging, distortions of the truth and false accusations in attempts to influence public polling.”

“No matter which candidate you support, people must not hurt the other side, which would make the turbulence worse and tarnish the candidates’ good image,” he said, referring to attacks by supporters of Tsai and Lai that have been taking place on social media, particularly groups on Line, Taiwan’s most popular messaging platform.

“We need the soft sands to cement two strong castles together. Please do not use sharp knives against each other that should be used against our common enemy,” Cho said in an impassioned plea to supporters. “We are brothers and sisters who must embrace each other with exuberance and have long discussions like family.”

“Please come together, because we still have need of each other to head down this road,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lai visited temples and attended events in New Taipei City.

“I have received so much enthusiastic support from the public over the past two days. Some of them have given me water, food and shelter from the rain and strong sun,” Lai said. “I can feel their passion and their ardent support.”

“We are entering the final stretch, so please help out to boost my support in the telephone polling,” he said. “Then I can represent the DPP and win the presidential election next year.”

Eight DPP New Taipei City councilors — led by Chen Shih-jung (陳世榮), Chang Chin-hao (張錦豪), Lai Chiu-mei (賴秋媚), Tai Wei-shan (戴瑋姍) — accompanied Lai at his campaign stops.

In the final leg of his “Motorcade Rally to Strengthen Taiwan,” which began on Sunday in southern Taiwan, Lai on Tuesday reached Taipei standing on a jeep accompanied by DPP Taipei City Councilor Chou Wei-yu (周威佑) and media personality Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏).

Amid heavy rain, the motorcade entered the city and Lai was joined by DPP Taipei City Councilor Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜).

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