KMT establishes ‘central campaign team’

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 02, 2018 - Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) executives and caucus members yesterday gathered at party headquarters in Taipei to mark the launch of a “central campaign team,” vowing to lead the party to victory in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one local elections.

The party has a disadvantage and an advantage ahead of the elections, which is why it needs a strong campaign team to clear the way to victory, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said at the ceremony, which was attended by KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former premier Sean Chen (陳?) and former Taipei county commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋).

The disadvantage is the financial strain caused by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee confiscating or freezing party assets, the result of “vicious political persecution” by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, Wu said.

The advantage is the drop in support for the DPP government due to its ineptitude in handling cross-strait relations and its inappropriate response to flooding in southern Taiwan last week, he said.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has been criticized for riding in an armored vehicle while inspecting flooding in Chiayi County. Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) did not attend a ceremony in Kinmen to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 823 Artillery Bombardment. He was on vacation with his family at the time.

Vowing to “right the [DPP’s] wrongs,” Wu said he hopes that the KMT’s candidates will be elected to local governments in November, which would be a bellwether for victory in the 2020 general elections.

Ma said that the DPP administration has downplayed the 823 Artillery Bombardment, which played a critical role in ensuring the nation’s security.

The DPP has downplayed the battle — in which China on Aug. 23, 1958, launched an artillery bombardment of the outlying islands that lasted more than a month — because it thinks it was a conflict between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party, Ma said.

However, about 45 percent of the soldiers who fought in the battle were living in Taiwan before the KMT came to Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War, he said.

The DPP is running cross-strait ties aground, Ma said, adding that its actions have had grave consequences for people’s livelihoods.

Beijing has imposed an import ban on fruit harvested in counties and municipalities governed by the DPP, causing fruit farmers to suffer, he said, adding that in contrast, Taitung County, governed by the KMT’s Justin Huang (黃健庭), has sold 500 tonnes of pineapples to China this year.