A s an atmosphere of shock and disappointment settled in at the KMT's campaign headquarters last night, Lien Chan (
Lien said he "felt sorry" for his supporters, because the embarrassing loss had disappointed those who had high expectations of him.
"After the defeat, I should deeply reflect [on] and self-examine [the causes]. It was my less-than-sufficient endeavors that led to the setback," the incumbent vice president said.
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
Also shouldering blame for the KMT rout was KMT Secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (
On behalf of the party headquarters, Huang said he respected the Taiwanese people's decision and attributed the loss to a split KMT, adding that the party will speed up its pace of reform to win back the people's hearts.
During Lien's brief remarks, he offered conciliatory words to his erstwhile DPP rivals. "I would like to congratulate Chen Shui-bian (
He also spelled out his expectations for Chen as the country's new leader. "Faced with the current intricate situation, I hope that you will lead Taiwan into a new phase with open-mindedness and a new way of thinking," he said.
Lien said he respected the result of the election as the expression of the will of the people, adding that the smooth election process marked another watershed in Taiwan's democratization.
Lien also used the opportunity to try and lift the decidedly low morale of KMT members. The KMT vice chairman said his party has had a glorious tradition and has made concrete achievements as the ruling party in Taiwan, urging his party comrades to not lose heart after their defeat.
"We should restart again immediately, so that we'll regain support and approval from the people in Taiwan," he said.
After Lien himself acknowledged failure, chairman of the campaign committee Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) -- also the speaker of the Legislative Yuan -- said that it was still too early to make an accurate analysis of the failure. However, he said that according to their preliminary assessments, "there appeared unexpected variables in final days, especially the 'Shi Wen-lung (
Lee, president of Academia Sinica, and Hsu, president of Chi Mei and a close friend of President Lee Teng-hui (
"On the other hand, rumors of a `dump Lien and save Soong' effect, as well as `dump Lien and save Chen,' had been widely spread," Wang said.
Jason Hu (胡志強), Lien's campaign manager, also said that "it is not to be denied that there was a large gap between the real outcome and [our] expectation."
Hu insisted that according to a number of polls and research conducted by the KMT's camp, Lien has had the highest popularity rating among the candidates since March 8.
"However, according to the law, publication of poll results are banned during the ten days leading up to election day. Therefore, the message was not received by the public. Instead, people kept the old image that Lien was behind other candidates and this wrong message made them dump Lien," Hu said.
Hu denied the party organization has poor coordination.
Both Wang and Hu claimed responsibility for the party's landslide defeat, saying that Lien was himself an outstanding candidate and leader and that they, as campaign chiefs, failed to get him elected by the voters. Hu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that he would withdraw from politics for a while.
When asked if the results indicated that the KMT's organizational mobilization system -- the party's most powerful weapon in elections -- had broken down, Wang did not directly answer the question.
"The scale of our organizational mobilization was unprecedented this time, and we made a huge effort," Wang said.
He added that the lack of success in yesterday's presidential election -- despite the KMT's organizational mobilization -- was reminiscent of the KMT's defeat in Taipei mayoral election in 1994, which Chen Shui-bian also won.
TAIWAN PROTECTION MEASURE: US Army General Charles Flynn would not say where in the Asia-Pacific the missiles would be sent, but only that they would arrive in 2024 The US is to send medium-range missiles including the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk to the Asia-Pacific next year to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan, US military news Web site Defense One reported. The report cited comments US Army General Charles Flynn made during the annual Halifax International Security Forum on Nov. 19. “We have tested them and we have a battery or two of them today,” Flynn was quoted as saying. “In 24. We intend to deploy that system in your region. I’m not going to say where and when. But I will just say that we will
UNUSUAL UPTICK: There are more flu-like illnesses in northern China than in the past 3 years, but data from Beijing showed that known pathogens are responsible Responding to an uptick in respiratory illnesses in China, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said it has instructed international airport and port quarantine centers to raise their alert levels, and plans to issue an alert to healthcare practitioners. The number of flu-like illnesses reported in northern China has been increasing for five consecutive weeks, and is higher than the same period in the past three years, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said. “According to the WHO’s latest statement, issued yesterday, information provided by Chinese government showed that the illnesses were mainly reported among children, and the illnesses were attributed
LOYALTY: The 10 active and retired soldiers betrayed the nation and its people by leaking and passing on military secrets to China, the High Prosecutors’ Office said Ten former and current military officers were yesterday indicted on charges of spying for China, including two who allegedly filmed themselves pledging loyalty to Beijing. The High Prosecutors’ Office requested life imprisonment for the suspects in light of the severity of the crime. The 10 active-duty and retired officers included members of the 601st Brigade of the Aviation Special Forces comprising attack helicopter squadrons and elite combat units in charge of defending northern Taiwan, including Taipei. The other suspects came from Huadong Defense Command, in charge of defending the eastern coast; Kinmen Defense Command, in charge of defending Kinmen and Matsu; and one
LOCAL INDUSTRY SAFE: Despite global expansion plans, 90% of Taiwanese IC suppliers’ production would stay in Taiwan, the National Development Council minister said Taiwan’s semiconductor firms are expected to invest US$210 billion over the next five years to cement the country’s lead over its peers in the global IC market, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said on Friday. Digital transformation in the high-tech sector had become an irreversible international trend, Kung told an investment forum on business start-ups. The government would continue to encourage the local semiconductor industry to invest by providing incentives under the Statute for Industrial Innovation (產業創新條例), Kung said. Taiwanese semiconductor firms are expected to move their investments out of the China due to a restructuring of global supply chains amid