Yen Kuan-hen (顏寬恆), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in today’s legislative by-election in Greater Taichung’s second district, yesterday made a last-minute plea for voter support, while the pan-blue camp expressed confidence in his victory.
Yen’s father, former Non-Partisan Solidarity Union legislator Yen Ching-piao (顏清標), accompanied his son on a campaign motorcade to solicit support around the city.
Yen Ching-piao said that while the by-election is a tough battle, his son should benefit from a higher voter turnout as more people are expected to cast their votes in the neck-and-neck race.
He dismissed the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) attempt to promote the by-election as a vote of no-confidence in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) governance, and said that he was confident about local support for his family because he has earned support across party lines in the past with his dedicated service in Taichung.
Yen Ching-piao, whose elected status was revoked after he was found guilty of corruption, has enjoyed long-term support in the electoral district, and the KMT nominated his son for the by-election with the aim of continuing the pan-blue camp’s influence in the area.
Meanwhile, the DPP, which is seeking victory in the traditional pan-blue stronghold, has garnered party heavyweights, including DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), to campaign for its candidate, Chen Shih-kai (陳世凱).
While the by-election is seen as a crucial battle ahead of the local government elections next year, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, has been absent from Yen Kuan-hen’s campaign.
Ma, who has seen his approval rating fall to record lows, is also facing challenges to his re-election bid as party chairman. The latest survey released by the Chinese-language newspaper China Times showed that 49 percent of the 823 respondents said they do not support Ma’s re-election bid, and 58 percent said they were not satisfied with his performance as KMT chairman.
The poll, conducted on Wednesday, also found that 48 percent of respondents thought that Ma doubling as the KMT chairman in the future would help neither the party nor his government’s performance.
Chiang Shih-liang (江士良), director of the KMT’s Greater Taichung branch, dismissed concerns about Ma’s absence from the by-election campaign, and said that the DPP’s attempts to emphasize political confrontation in the by-election was not a smart strategy, as local voters cared more about the candidates’ dedication to local development.
Yen Kuan-hen also expressed confidence in his election bid and promised to continue his father’s service in the district if elected.