By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – People First Party presidential candidate James
Soong was seen wearing a bulletproof vest Saturday in what was interpreted as a stepping up of safety measures in the final week of campaigning for the January 16 elections.
While politics in Taiwan is rarely violent, President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were injured on the eve of their re-election victory in 2004 by a reportedly disgruntled man who fired a gun at them as they were passing by in an open jeep.
Soong appeared on the famous Old Street in Sanxia, New Taipei City, Saturday morning to meet with voters. Reporters noted that he was wearing a thicker vest with his name written on it than on previous occasions. Aides reportedly acknowledged they had counseled Soong to start wearing a bulletproof vest during public events.
Soong narrowly lost the 2000 presidential election when he ran as an independent. He later founded the PFP and in 2004 ran as the vice-presidential candidate with then-Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan. [FULL STORY]