Alexa

Ma visits with TSU heavyweights to solicit support

Chien says he is undecided on whether to endorse KMT candidate

Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday visited pro-green heavyweights Chien Cheng-shan and wife Chien Lin Whei-jun in Tainan City in order to solicit their support for his presidential campaign.
Chien Cheng-shan, however, said that he still needed more time to think about the endorsement, but he sent Ma a plaque as a gift to wish him luck in the election.
Chien Cheng-shan and Chien Lin Whei-jun are both members of the Taiwan Solidarity Union. Chien Cheng-shan once served as TSU secretary-general, and his wife Chien Lin was a lawmaker.
The Ma-Chien meeting raised local media speculation about whether the TSU and Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had decided to support Ma in the upcoming presidential election.
However, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said that since Chien is no longer TSU's secretary-general, any decision made by him regarding the endorsing of candidates would be a personal one and would not represent TSU's formal position.
The Democratic Progressive Party is reportedly still striving to create a partnership with the Chiens, who are former DPP allies. DPP Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said that they would not give up any opportunities to talk with the Chiens.
DPP Lawmaker Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said that the equating of yesterday's Ma-Chien meeting to Lee Teng-hui's endorsement of Ma would be an exaggerated interpretation.
Lai said there are also some former supporters of James Soong (宋楚瑜) and Lien Chan (連戰) who have endorsed Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) presidential bid, but the DPP did not manipulate such information to give a false impression to the media.
Chien Cheng-shan's comments to the local press about yesterday's meeting between the Chiens and Ma were vague and noncommittal. Chien said that he anticipated the media would report the meeting as a defection from green to blue, but he urged members of the press not to jump to such conclusions.
"I am neither blue nor green, but rather the color of Taiwan's soil and land, as I am Taiwanese," said Chien.