Tsai urges supporters on election eve to get out and vote

President Tsai Ing-wen called to "Vote to safeguard Taiwan" at a mass rally on Ketagalan Boulevard outside the Presidential Office on Friday night. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is seeking her second term, urged her supporters at an election-eve rally in Taipei to go vote and safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and democratic system.

“Vote to safeguard Taiwan,” Tsai called out loudly at a mass rally on Ketagalan Boulevard outside the Presidential Office on Friday night.

Waving flags and light sticks to demonstrate their loyalty to Tsai, rally participants chanted the slogan” “Ing-Te Victory” as Tsai and her running mate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) walked on the stage at around 9:30 p.m.

Addressing the rally, Tsai emphasized that the ballots voters will cast in Saturday’s election will decide if Taiwan can keep its freedom and democracy intact.

“Young Hong Kong people are watching Taiwanese people” to see whether they will keep Taiwan on the path of freedom and democracy, Tsai said, referring to Hongkongers who have engaged in mass protests since June 2019 over China’s growing encroachment in Hong Kong.

She said “the values of democracy and freedom will conquer everything,” and urged supporters to vote for her and her party, the Democratic Progressive Party, which she said are devoted to protecting those values.

“I will leave a better country” to Taiwan’s younger generation, Tsai pledged, saying she has carried out her political promises, from raising wages and cutting taxes to such issues as long-term care, national defense reforms, pension reforms and gender equality.

On Friday, Tsai campaigned in Taipei, New Taipei and Kaohsiung before returning to Taipei where she and Lai met at the Ketagalan Boulevard rally to make a final appeal for support.

Earlier in the day, Lai campaigned in Taichung in central Taiwan, where he appealed for votes at a mass rally to allow Tsai to “continue her efforts to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty and protect democracy.”

At the Kaohsiung rally, Tsai blasted her rival, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), for treating Kaohsiung people as “a tool he threw away after using it.”

“Kaohsiung people must not be tricked a second time,” she said, criticizing Han’s decision to run for the presidency just months after taking office.

Tsai, Han of the Kuomintang and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) are vying for the 2020 presidential election whose results will be published at 10 p.m.