President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and two other former chairmen of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday, joined the party’s legislator-at-large candidates in a show of solidarity, urging pan-blue supporters to pool their party votes for the ruling party.
Ma, former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) issued the call at a morning news conference at KMT headquarters in Taipei, in the company of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Chu’s campaign director, former Taichung mayor Jason Hu (胡志強).
A number of KMT legislator-at-large candidates also attended, including Kaohsiung Medical University vice president Arthur Chen (陳宜民), TEDxTaipei cofounder Jason Hsu (許毓仁) and Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman William Tseng (曾銘宗).
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
However, KMT Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who was forced out of the presidential race by KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) in October last year, did not attend, opting to speak for a KMT legislative candidate in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義).
While Hung days earlier said she would not “press voters for their support for KMT legislators-at-large if they found it hard to do so,” yesterday, she called on voters to “concentrate their votes,” even if they think the KMT needs improvement.
Ma said the party faces a critical test.
“The past year has been rather arduous for the KMT. While not everyone is content with the nomination processes for the party’s presidential and legislator-at-large candidates, we must unite at this critical hour and concentrate our votes to secure a victory,” Ma said.
Ma said that over the past eight years, his administration has made noticeable achievements in terms of social security, regional peace, tourism and trade volume.
In contrast, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) failed to deliver most of his campaign pledges during his eight year’s between 2000 and 2008, Ma said, adding that a vote against the KMT is a vote for uncertainty.
Wu said that while every candidate claims to love Taiwan, voters must opt for the ones whose ways of loving Taiwan are most conducive to the nation’s future and Taiwanese welfare.
“Some campaign slogans might sound energizing and invigorating, but they can only be sold to a limited and domestic audience and could unsettle cross-strait ties,” Wu said.
Wang said it is the KMT that has brought peace and stability to Taiwan, while the DPP has planned to introduce ractopamine-laced US pork in exchange for piggy banks donated by its supporters.
“For the sake of Taiwan’s dignity and future, we urge everyone to come forward and use their ballots to safeguard love and peace in the nation,” Wang said.
Hu said that although the KMT has sometimes disappointed Taiwanese, giving up on the party would be tantamount to abandoning the nation and its future.
“As long as you do not give up [on the KMT] there will still be hope for Taiwan,” Hu said.
The KMT held another event in Taipei in the afternoon to improve party unity, bringing together a room of international supporters.
In addition to Ma and Hu, the event was attended by Chu, Hung and Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).
Together they chanted “Eric Chu, winning” after singing the Ode to the Republic of China (中華民國頌).
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