Kaohsiung City Councilor Wu Yi-jheng, right, the Taiwan People’s Party’s Kaohsiung mayoral by-election candidate, gestures alongside his daughter Wu Lo-ying on a campaign truck in the city yesterday. Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times
By Ko Yu-hao, Wang Jung-hsiang and Dennis Xie / Staff reporters, with staff writer
The three candidates in the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election yesterday canvassed for support ahead of today’s vote.
The Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） held a rally near MRT West Fongshan Station to boost its candidate, former vice premier Chen Chi-mai （陳其邁）, with speakers including President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文）, Vice President William Lai （賴清德） and Premier Su Tseng-chang （蘇貞昌）.
The election is more than a contest to win the city, but is “a war of glory,” Lai said, calling on young Kaohsiung natives living elsewhere to help Chen achieve victory with “more votes than the 890,000 that former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu （韓國瑜） won in 2018.”
Han was removed from the post in a recall vote on June 6.
More than 100,000 people attended the rally, DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin （趙天麟） said at 7pm.
The Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） made its final appeal to voters at an event next to the Kaohsiung Dream Mall, with its candidate, Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee （李眉蓁）, sharing the stage with former president Ma Ying-jeou （馬英九）, former KMT chairman Eric Chu （朱立倫）, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang （江啟臣） and Han sharing the stage.
“Chen was rejected by Kaohsiung voters [in 2018] and now he has come back, as if telling residents that they owe him the mayoralty and an apology,” Ma said.
After “elevating” Chen to vice premier after he lost to Han, the DPP, as it has always done, ignored political neutrality before pulling Han down, Ma said.
Before Han spoke at 9pm, Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Ruo-tsui （陳若翠） said that more than 100,000 people were in attendance.
Taiwan People’s Party （TPP） campaign vehicles on six routes throughout Kaohsiung canvassed voters for its candidate, Kaohsiung City Councilor Wu Yi-jheng （吳益政）, with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je （柯文哲）, the party’s chairman, and TPP Secretary-General Hsieh Li-kung （謝立功） riding along.
Wu’s daughter Wu Lo-ying （吳洛瑩） said that she admired her father’s perseverance.
“My dad is a middle-aged man chasing his dream,” she said.
“It is important for people to hold on to their ideals,” she said, adding that her father has never viewed politics as a “job,” but a “passion.”
Although political observers are not optimistic about her father’s chances, she said that voters would give all of the candidates an equal chance, and would see the diligence and commitment that he has showed in more than 20 years in politics.
Meanwhile, the Central Election Commission said that people should wear a mask and maintain proper social distances while voting today.
No lobbying activities — including on social media and messaging apps — are allowed by law, with people who post remarks, pictures, videos, symbols, or poll results showing favor toward any candidate being subject to a minimum fine of NT$500,000, the commission said.
Garments or accessories bearing logos of any political party, group or candidate also constitute campaign activity, and are prohibited, too, with violators also risking a fine of at least NT$500,000, it added.
Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee, center, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s （KMT） Kaohsiung mayoral by-election candidate, waves alongside KMT Legislator Hung Meng-kai, left, and National Policy Foundation Vice Chairman Sean Lien, at a rally in the city yesterday. Photo: Wang Jung-hsiang, Taipei Times