costumes, shade and candidates bursting into track : NPR - News6t

costumes, shade and candidates bursting into track : NPR

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“Excited sister” — a fixture at Kuomintang rallies — makes her presence identified at a rally for the KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih on Jan. 6.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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An Rong Xu for NPR


“Excited sister” — a fixture at Kuomintang rallies — makes her presence identified at a rally for the KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih on Jan. 6.

An Rong Xu for NPR

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Amid a stunning show of shade and theatrics, Taiwan, the one Chinese language-language democracy, is making ready to elect a brand new president this weekend. That is solely the eighth democratic presidential election within the island’s trendy historical past, so Taiwanese folks cherish the fitting to vote.

Marketing campaign rallies are virtually theatrical. Musicians are sometimes employed to attain candidate’s stump speeches in actual time, in order they attain significantly emotional moments the music swells to accentuate the viewers reactions.

In lots of cases, the musician is an important particular person on the rally — moreover the candidates, in fact — for one easy motive: they supply the emotion.

At one rally for the Kuomintang (KMT) celebration, 1000’s of individuals collect at Dajia Riverside Park to cheer on candidate Hou Yu-ih. The environment is loud and raucous, and the group is a sea of KMT flags.

KMT supporters at a rally in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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An Rong Xu for NPR


KMT supporters at a rally in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

An Rong Xu for NPR

Supporters present the vitality on the KMT rallies.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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Supporters present the vitality on the KMT rallies.

An Rong Xu for NPR

One of many smaller supporters noticed at a rally for KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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One of many smaller supporters noticed at a rally for KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih.

An Rong Xu for NPR

One lady, who calls herself Ji Dong Jie — or “excited sister” in Mandarin — is clearly a fixture on the rally circuit. She is wearing a vibrant pink pantsuit, sparkly Mylar boas and rhinestone-studded heels. Her big fluffy pink hat is adorned with two Taiwanese flags that wave within the air as she leads the group in an impromptu dance.

“It is all DIY,” she tells NPR in Mandarin, including that she goes to each KMT rally. “I would like the KMT to work for peace. I do not need independence for Taiwan. I would like relations with the U.S. to be good, and I would like relations with China to be good. We’re all one household.”

Huge flags and large emotions are on show at a KMT rally.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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In the meantime, marketing campaign occasions hosted by the rival Democratic Progressive Occasion (DPP) are typically quieter, however no much less festive. The present DPP Vice President, Lai Ching-te (also called William Lai) is operating to be the island’s new president and is favored to win.

At one reelection rally for a DPP legislator named Su Chiao-hui, volunteers gown in vibrant inexperienced vests and hand out steaming, recent baoand marketing campaign souvenirs. Different candidates take photographs with supporters, and present president Tsai Ing-wen even makes an look to point out her assist.

Voters on the DPP rally sit on stools organized in neat rows, many carrying white baseball caps with Su’s identify emblazoned on the entrance.

As a part of their campaigns, legislative and presidential candidates typically journey in caravans by their districts, standing on open truck beds to wave to their constituents for hours at a time.

Supporters of DPP legislator Su Chiao-hui rally for her in New Taipei Metropolis.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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Supporters of DPP legislator Su Chiao-hui rally for her in New Taipei Metropolis.

An Rong Xu for NPR

Su is thought for her pink marketing campaign shade.

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Su is thought for her pink marketing campaign shade.

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A sea of white hats bearing Su’s identify might be seen at one rally.

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A sea of white hats bearing Su’s identify might be seen at one rally.

An Rong Xu for NPR

Over loudspeakers, Su calls out her due to individuals who voted for her, and infrequently bursts into track. Her supporters cheer and wave from road corners and doorways, holding flags and giving her two thumbs up.

Su says she’s carrying a vibrant pink vest (her marketing campaign shade) as a result of she appears to be like good in it and it flatters her pores and skin, even when she is not carrying any make-up.

Posters of presidential candidates and their operating mates might be seen all over the place in Taipei – certainly, all through the island – on billboards, road lamps and the perimeters of buildings.

The celebratory nature of campaigning in Taiwan doesn’t imply that individuals on the island aren’t taking the election critically. As each election approaches, the difficulty of China takes middle stage.

That is solely the eighth democratic presidential election in Taiwan.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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That is solely the eighth democratic presidential election in Taiwan.

An Rong Xu for NPR

KMT supporters watch on at a rally in January.

An Rong Xu for NPR


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KMT supporters watch on at a rally in January.

An Rong Xu for NPR

Supporters at a DPP rally take all of it in.

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Supporters at a DPP rally take all of it in.

An Rong Xu for NPR

Broadly talking, each the DPP and KMT favor sustaining the established order between Taiwan and China and each would really like Taiwan to stay self-governed, even when it isn’t formally impartial.

Individuals on the island are additionally fearful about low wages and the rising value of residing. Some consider the DPP hasn’t paid sufficient consideration to the financial system over the previous eight years of President Tsai’s administration.

Many youthful voters really feel disillusioned with each the DPP and the KMT, and have flocked to Ko Wen-Je, a third-party candidate on the poll this 12 months, representing the Taiwan Individuals’s Occasion, or TPP.

As Taiwanese folks put together to go to voting stations on Saturday, the end result — and the way forward for the island — stays to be seen.

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