Better than Lotto win, says DPP supporter
Minnie Chan in Kaohsiung
Thousands of supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party rejoiced last night after the party successfully defended its power base in Kaohsiung.
The deafening chants of 'Win Win Chen Chu, Love Taiwan' blended with the sound of fireworks, gongs and drums as more and more people flowed into the square near the rally headquarters of the DPP's Kaohsiung candidate, Chen Chu, to celebrate the victory.
'I am so touched and happy ... even happier than winning the first prize of a Lotto,' sobbed Kuo Ching-hua, waving a DPP campaign flag.
The 52-year-old housewife said she had arrived at Ms Chen's rally headquarters at 1pm with her husband, a son, two daughters and a 9-month-old granddaughter.
'We want to show our support to Ms Chen. Standing by her means support for Taiwan, because she is a real daughter of Taiwan,' she said. Her 23-year-old daughter, Tseng Wan-ji, said she was nervous as the ballots were counted and the results sometimes showed Ms Chen trailing her opponent, Huang Chun-ying, the main opposition Kuomintang candidate.
'I tried to shout 'Win, win, Mayor Chen,' to bolster my own and my mother's spirits,' said Ms Tseng. 'But finally she won, and we Taiwanese won too.'
Retiree Chen Hui-san, 64, said: 'She should be elected because I don't want the KMT to rule us.'
Another supporter, Shih Pei-yu, who was accompanied by her 16-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, said she wanted 'to let them experience Taiwan's democratic development although they cannot vote'. Ms Shih, 36, a restaurant owner, added: 'I think democratic education has to start from childhood. I told my children that I voted for Chen Chu because of her personality, not only because of her party background.'
However, many voters said that they voted for Ms Chen because of the contribution made to the city by the former DPP mayor Frank Hsieh Chang-ting.
Supporters of the KMT candidate expressed disappointment over Mr Huang's loss by such a narrow margin. 'I couldn't accept the result because there are so many invalid ballots and the margin is so narrow,' said Tseng Ying-lee, 42, a Kaohsiung native who studied in the US.