TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday (July 26) expressed support for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate for mayor of Kaohsiung, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), at a political rally in the southern city.
On Sunday, the president traveled south to attend the “100 professions, 100 industries for Chi-mai” event in Kaohsiung, where she drummed up support for Chen. DPP national legislators and city councilors were also present at the rally, CNA reported.
Previously the country's vice premier, Chen is running to fill the position vacated by former Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who was voted from office in a referendum. The by-election will be held on Aug. 15.
Addressing the crowd, President Tsai first thanked the citizens of Kaohsiung for helping her win a second term with over 1 million votes from the southern city alone. Tsai said that she and Chen had both suffered defeat during the 2018 local elections but that just like her, he deserves the chance to get back on his feet with the assistance of Kaohsiung voters.
Tsai remarked that Kaohsiung residents have proven the value of Taiwan’s democracy and kept the powerful in check through the most stringent means.
She stated: "Kaohsiung is neither blue nor green. It is the pride of Taiwan's democracy." She continued, saying that if a politician does not perform well, the people’s response will not be polite; however, if the leader does well, the people of Kaohsiung are not afraid to show support.
Thanking the crowd for their support, President Tsai said that “candidates with academic qualifications, experience, and vision" such as Chen should be worthy of a great city like Kaohsiung. Chen is the only candidate ready for the election, she claimed.
Regarding the development of Kaohsiung’s industry, Tsai said that Chen has many policies and plans at the ready. She promised that he is committed to the city and that he is a man of his word. Tsai also said the DPP candidate will cooperate with the central government once he becomes mayor and aim to rejuvenate the city’s economy.
The president concluded by acknowledging that the city's people have been disheartened and frustrated over the past two years, with many left wondering whether the city was booming as Mayor Han had previously promised. Tsai noted that Kaohsiung’s sense of glory was gone and urged residents to vote in the by-election to help it regain its former glory.
Tsai said that Chen will be able to recover the two years lost under Han. Thousands of people at the scene responded by enthusiastically shouting “Victory will be ours!”