Sean Lien seeks to garner support of KMT officials

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Kuomintang’s (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate yesterday said tight cooperation between all of the ruling party’s deputies and city council will be crucial to winning the year-end elections. Mayoral hopeful Sean Lien made the remarks during a meeting with KMT deputies to the Taipei City Council.

Chung Tse-liang, head of the KMT’s Taipei Chapter, said that the meeting he arranged was meant to let Lien exchange opinions with the KMT councilors and explore the possibility of running joint campaigns. Ahead of the meeting, Lien told the press that he has been working hard to consolidate support from the pan-blue camp over the past two months, and now they are coming close to agreeing on common goals and strategies.

Asked to comment on an accusation that he needs the assistance of so many veteran councilors while giving them little in return, Lien said the elections involve contributing to a big army in which everyone plays his or her role as best as he or she can. Lien told the KMT Taipei councilors during the meeting that the year-end elections are not his personal challenge but a challenge for the entire party.

The outcomes of the elections will determine the direction of the nation in the next few years, he said. All local government chiefs and parliament members will be up for re-election in the year-end elections. Various public opinion surveys have shown that Lien is lagging behind his major rival, Ko Wen-je, who is running an independent campaign with support from the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party. While both candidates are election novices, Lien has a strong political background. His father, Lien Chan, was vice president of the nation and is currently an honorary chairman of the KMT.

The senior Lien reportedly has turned active recently, looking to consolidate support for his son.

But there have been concerns that the younger Lien may not be able to receive full support from all KMT members.

Ko has claimed that Legislator Ting Shou-chung, who lost to Lien in the contested party primary for a shot at mayoral candidacy, has been reluctant to support Lien. Asked to comment on Ko’s claims, the KMT candidate said the rival should not be concerned about his friendship with Ting. He said Ko instead should ask himself how he will be able to win support from KMT loyalists when he has such deep ties with the DPP camp. Lien said Ko’s efforts to win support from KMT supporters must be creating immense psychological pressure for him.