People First Party Chairman James Soong, left, holds a presidential election candidate registration receipt with his running mate, former United Communications Group chairwoman Sandra Yu, at the Central Election Commission in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter
People First Party （PFP） Chairman James Soong （宋楚瑜） and former United Communications Group chairwoman Sandra Yu （余湘） yesterday registered as the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates at the Central Election Commission in Taipei.
Soong and Yu were the first pair of presidential candidates to arrive at the commission, accompanied by campaign spokeswoman Belle Yu （于美人）, PFP secretary-general Lee Hung-chun （李鴻鈞） and Yonglin Foundation executive director Amanda Liu （劉宥彤）.
Supporters cheered outside the commission’s building while Soong, 77, registered for the election, his fourth run for president since 2000.
“This is to be ‘the last mile’ of my time spent in political elections. I am grateful and confident that I can help the nation become confident and proud again with what I have learned throughout my career, including international diplomacy, cross-strait affairs, national security and local government affairs,” he said.
Soong said that he and Yu would campaign cheerfully and work together to address the economic issues facing Taiwanese, adding that he would present to the public within the next 10 days the party’s campaign platform for the Jan. 11 elections.
Asked when the party’s nominees for legislators-at-large would be announced, Soong said that the PFP is still finalizing the list, which would definitely be submitted before Friday’s deadline.
“The nominees do not necessarily have to be party members. The most important criterion is that they have to win the hearts of the public,” he said.
Asked if the list would include Liu and Yonglin Foundation deputy chief executive Evelyn Tsai （蔡沁瑜）, who work for the foundation set up by former Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou （郭台銘）, Soong said that he would keep the list a secret for now, adding that the first nominee on the list would be a surprise to everyone.
He also expressed confidence in his approval rating after he ranked third in a survey released yesterday by the Chinese-language United Daily News.
The survey showed that President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） of the Democratic Progressive Party was leading the three-way-race, with 45 percent support, followed by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu （韓國瑜）, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s （KMT） presidential candidate, with 29 percent, and Soong with 8 percent.
His approval rating has climbed from less than 1 percent to 8 percent, Soong said, adding that this shows that his approval rating would rise as the campaign progresses.