- Title: TAIWAN: Thousands attend election campagin in Taiwan ahead of March polls
- Date: 29th February 2008
- Summary: THE EVENT LOGO "228" HOSTESS INTRODUCING MA YIN JEOU (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin)KMT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MA YIN JEOU SAYING:"I promise that if I'm elected, I will boost the economy, create a clean government without corruption, society with justice, and peace across the strait. Let all enjoy the fruit of economic growth, and none should face a corrupted government. This is the lesson of the 228 event, and I must remember firmly in my heart." MA YIN JEOU AND VINCENT SIEW ON STAGE
- Embargoed: 15th March 2008 12:00
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAD0FRQFTTV84W2QR0B2Y38B2WM
- Story Text: Thousands of Taiwanese turned up on Thursday (February 28) in the first major campaign events by the ruling and opposition parties ahead of the presidential elections in March, in gatherings filled with music, speeches and fanfare.
Ma Ying-jeou from the opposition Nationalist Party (KTM), the frontrunner of the presidential race, and Frank Hsieh from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, took on different styles to woo voters on the day that commemorates the "228 Incident".
The 228 incident marks the day on Feb. 28, 1947 when a Taipei street dispute over the state's cigarette monopoly spread to a chain of protests against Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist rule. As many as 20,000 people were killed in an ensuing crackdown.
"There is blood splattered in our history. Our ancestors knew there would be sacrifices and death, is was impossible like throwing eggs toward rocks, but they presevered," Hsieh told thousands of supporters who waved party flags and wore bandanas.
The DPP favours Taiwan independence from China and stresses on the Taiwan identity, while the KMT is seen as China-friendly and is willing to loosen more trade ties with the mainland.
Ma, who has been sympathetic towards the families of the victims of the 228 incident, took a soft approach with a concert.
"I promise that if I'm elected, I will boost the economy, create a clean government without corruption, society with justice, and peace across the strait. Let all enjoy the fruit of economic growth, and none should face a corrupted government. This is the lesson of the 228 event, and I must remember firmly in my heart," Ma told hundreds of supporters during the concert.
Hsieh faces a tough fight against Ma on March 22, especially after the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT) won the DPP by a landslide during the legislative elections in mid-January.
Hsieh and Ma registered as presidential candidates in late January.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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