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Shooting incident helps mobilize KMT supporters: pundits

2010/11/27 23:57:30

Taipei, Nov. 27 (Taipei) The shooting of a high-ranking member ofthe ruling Kuomintang (KMT) on the eve of the municipal electionshelped mobilize the party's supporters and played a key role in theoutcome of the poll, pundits said Saturday.

Lien Sheng-wen, the son of former Vice President Lien Chan and amember of the Kuomintang Central Committee, was shot in the facewhile he was stumping for a KMT councilor candidate at a rally inTaipei County on Friday night.

The KMT won three seats -- Taipei City, Xinbei City and TaichungCity -- in the elections, garnering more than 3.36 million votes,according to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Voter turnout in the elections for mayors of five municipalitieswas 71.71 percent, the CEC said.

Commenting on the election-eve shooting of Lien Sheng-wen, KMTLegislator Sun Da-chien said it certainly shifted the course of theelections and contributed to his party's narrow win.

Many KMT supporters who may have been reluctant to vote wereshocked by the incident and empathized with Lien Chan's visible painand agony after his son was shot, Sun said.

"We would not have secured the win without Lien Chan, " Sun said,adding that at least 3 percent of the KMT votes resulted directlyfrom the shooting.

He however did not explain how he had arrived at that estimate.

KMT legislator Hsu Shu-po expressed a similar view, saying thatthere are only two kinds of votes that could affect election resultsovernight -- bought votes and sympathy votes.

"Taiwanese people are extremely nice, and it's very easy to getthem to vote for the candidates by creating sympathy for them, " hesaid.

He said the media coverage of Lien Sheng-wen's shooting Fridayhelped bring unity to the KMT. Lien is not just anybody -- his fatheris a man who has a lot of connections and political influence, Hsusaid.

Hung Yu-hung, a political commentator, said the shooting incidenthad a major impact on Saturday's elections, especially amongundecided voters in Taipei who want greater stability.

Any unsettling incidents would have an adverse effect on theDemocratic Progressive Party, as some people would link the DPP tothe violence, Hung said. That helped the KMT to mobilize itssupporters and thus win three seats in the municipal elections, hesaid.

(By Hermia Lin)