Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Deputy Secretary-General Alex Tsai (蔡正元) yesterday estimated that there is a margin of less than 5 percent between Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, saying that the KMT expects to secure at least 13 legislator-at-large seats.
He made the remarks at KMT headquarters when asked to comment on an election prediction made by former Japanese representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata.
During a speech in Tokyo on Sunday, Numata said that the margin between Han and Tsai could be about 5 percentage points or less.
Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times
Having ruled Taiwan for 50 years, the Japanese government remains well-connected in the nation, Alex Tsai said yesterday.
“It is reasonable to estimate a margin of less than 5 points,” he said, adding that the margin has been becoming increasingly small.
The KMT has bounced back from rock bottom and is set to catch up with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the elections, he said.
The KMT should surpass the DPP in legislator-at-large seats, he said, adding that it expects to win 13 to 15 of those seats.
Separately yesterday, the KMT held a joint news conference with New Party legislator-at-large nominee Chiu Yi (邱毅), accusing the DPP of leading an “Internet army” linked to Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如).
Earlier this month, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office charged Yang for posting online comments about the Osaka branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan just days before then-branch secretary-general Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠) committed suicide.
In what appeared to be an online influence campaign against the branch, Yang allegedly used the same Internet protocol address at the Legislative Yuan as Yang Wen-hsin (湯文馨), a legislative assistant of DPP Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書), Chiu said.
“Yang was just a minor figure leading the [DPP’s] online influence campaign. She was taking instructions from Tang,” Chiu said.
Tang is a board director at consulting firm Nanfeng (南風整合行銷公司), which has an online campaign contract with the DPP signed by Tsai Ing-wen, he said.
He added that he would provide details of their online campaigns against specific individuals in the following days.
The findings confirmed that “there is an Internet army that is directly taking instructions from DPP headquarters,” Alex Tsai said.
DPP headquarters should explain its relationship with Yang and apologize to the public, KMT spokesman Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said.
Huang later filed defamation charges against Chiu, Alex Tsai and Chang with the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office.
Tang left her job as his assistant in 2017, a year before the Su incident, Huang said.
“If I could use the Internet to manipulate people, would my online exposure be this low?” he asked.
DPP spokesman Liu Kang-yen (劉康彥) said that the party’s contract with Nanfeng was for collecting information related to the DPP on the Internet, adding that many companies and organizations have purchased similar services.
Additional reporting by CNA
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