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KMT, DPP presidential candidates promise civil campaign

2015/10/18 21:26:11

Chu, Tsai and Soong (L to R, front) CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) Ruling Kuomintang (KMT) chairman and presidential nominee Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Sunday welcomed a pledge by his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rival to end political strife and run a civil campaign.

Chui said that when he met Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Double Ten National Day celebrations on Oct. 10, "I told her that I was pleased to see her on that occasion and welcomed her presence at the National Day ceremony, hoping that this will no longer be an issue," said Chu, who replaced Hung Hsiu-chu as the KMT's presidential nominee a day earlier.

In an exclusive interview with CNA, Chu said he shared the view of the DPP chairwoman and presidential nominee that Taiwan's democracy has entered an "uplifting" stage and it is time to let go of negative campaigning.

"This is something that our generation has a responsibility to achieve," Chu said.

In response, Tsai has proposed discussions between the ruling and opposition parties after the Jan. 16, 2016 elections, no matter which party wins, according to Chu.

Sitting down to talk "absolutely is not a problem for me," Chu said. He said he has never engaged in negative campaigning as he does not support malicious attacks or smearing tactics.

"It is absolutely not necessary to engage in negative campaigning, after which the winner will carry scars all over," he said.

In her address to supporters at the launch of her campaign office, Tsai said she broke the DPP tradition by attending this year's ROC National Day celebrations to show her determination to "end political strife" and unite "not just the parties, but the country."

"If you're convinced that the political process should be rational, reconciliatory and inclusive, the please support us," she said.

She conceded that the DPP does not represent the whole of Taiwan, just as the KMT does not represent the entire ROC.

"If Taiwan loses its right to decide on its own future and if the ROC loses its free and democratic way of life in the hands of our generation, the people of Taiwan will not feel pity to see the two parties being swept into the ash bin of history," Tsai said.

Tsai is enjoying a solid lead in polls over Chu and James Soong, who is running on the People First Party ticket in the presidential election, which will be held on the same day with the legislative election.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen, Sophia Yeh and S.C. Chang)
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