Most believe shooting boosted KMT: poll

By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Nearly 70 percent of Taiwanese people believe that the election eve shooting of Sean Lien, son of Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan, benefited the KMT in the just-concluded five municipal elections, according to a survey released yesterday. While another 60 percent of people said they worried that similar shooting incidents would continue to happen and have a decisive impact in future elections. “Our survey shows that 66.5 percent of people believed the shooting was beneficial to the KMT in the elections,” said Hsu Yung-ming, a political scientist at Soochow University, who also doubled as a member of the Taiwan Thinktank, the institute that conducted the survey. The 40-year-old Sean Lien sustained a facial wound described by hospital officials as not life-threatening after the gunman allegedly fired a handgun at close range in a rally on election eve last Friday night in Taipei County. Another man at the rally, named Huang Yun-sheng, who happened to be seated close to the stage was hit in the head and was pronounced dead upon arrival in the hospital. Hsu unveiled the results of the survey at a press conference held in Taipei yesterday. The ruling KMT grabbed three municipalities in the just-concluded election including Taipei, Xinbei and Taichung cities, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won in Kaohsiung and Tainan. The survey also showed that another 69 percent of survey-takers said the incident on the eve of the election revealed the fact that Taiwan’s public security is in grave danger and deserved the attention of the ruling administration. Hsu, therefore, urged President Ma Ying-jeou to openly pledge that such cases will not happen again during his tenure. “Taiwanese people regardless of their political affiliations are all extremely worried that such incidents could become quite common in the future elections,” Hsu noted, adding that the gunshot reminded the public of the infamous “319 Incident.” On March 19, 2004, one day before the presidential election, a shooter fired a handgun at then-President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu during their election campaign. Neither of them suffered serious injuries. However, the assassination attempt, or the “319 Incident,” — so named because it occurred on March 19 — was thought to have earned Chen and Lu sympathy votes, helping them win the election by a narrow margin. Chen Yaw-shyang, a professor in National Taipei University’s Department of Public Administration and Policy, who also joined yesterday’s press conference, noted that the government should set up an inter-ministry ad hoc task force to investigate the case thoroughly. ”It should be done for the public, for Lien’s family and also for the innocent man who died during the shooting,” he added.

The survey results were based on phone interviews conducted on Nov. 29 and 30 with 1,085 randomly selected people in Taiwan above the age of 20, according to the think tank.