Surf Taiwan News, Browse the World »
Ko Wen-je: Joining the DPP means losing the election
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-02 12:22 PM
Wen-Je Ko, who remains uncommitted in the race for Taipei City mayor, and lawyer Wellington Koo, a declared candidate for the DPP nomination, both appeared at a DPP function on New Year’s Day. Ko’s statements during the day were a bit contradictory. He expressed his reluctance to run as a DPP candidate, noting, "If I join the party I could easily lose the election." At the same time he seemed to be saying the party doesn’t have a chance if he is not the candidate, declaring: "If I withdraw from the election, the DPP cannot win!" He added that if the DPP were to lose the mayoral elections in both Taipei City and New Taipei City, the party would suffer in Taichung, Changhua and Nantou as well.

Meanwhile former Vice President Annette Lu criticized Ko for waffling on whether he would join the DPP. She said Ko has shown no respect for the party, noting that if he were to become a party member and follow the rules, she would give him her support. She said Ko has done nothing but cause problems for the party, however, and it was more than she could take.

Lu asked whether the DPP really had a place in Ko’s heart. She said that if you do not agree with the DPP and constantly put the party down and claim it cannot win without you, you might as well run as an independent. She said, you can work against the party, but don’t try to get tangled up in party matters and cause harm to all that the party has accomplished over these many years, all for the sake of your own ambition. Going around saying the DPP can’t win, she said, “really tees me off!"

Koo and Ko were both on hand at a DPP-sponsored charity event for young students organized by legislator Pasuya Yao and former city councilor Chen Bifeng.

Ko told reporters at the event that if the party was still stalemated in choosing a candidate by March, he would step in and join the party. He said he would make a decision no later than that.

In response, Wellington Koo said many people are starting to lose patience over Ko’s indecision, adding that he hopes Ko would choose to join the party to resolve the impasse. If Ko ran as an independent, he asked, how would the DPP handle its campaign in Taipei City? In addition, said Koo, it is not that easy for the DPP to communicate with non-party members. He said decisions should be made by the party on a collective basis.

Ko responded by saying that he could easily join the party, but felt he should follow the course most likely to lead to victory in the election. And the best way to do that, he said, would be as the candidate of an opposition alliance. At the same time, he added, he could just withdraw completely, noting that he had never declared he would run as an independent.

Ko emphasized that rumors saying he wants to act as a third force in the campaign are simply not true. He said he had promised DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang there would not be two slates of candidates going up against the KMT. Still, he said, this is a major problem, and he needs time to think while things act to sort themselves out.

On Monday Ko went with DPP legislator to Taichung Prison where they visited former President Chen Shui-bian. Ko, who was originally a convener of a team of doctors monitoring Chen’s medical condition, went to the prison to check on tests and reports by prison medical staff.

Asked again about his stance on the Taipei mayoral election campaign, Ko chose not to answer directly. He noted, "I need a month or two to think about things, not just 1 or 2 days. I also have to let the people think long and hard and develop their own opinions on the subject."

On Wednesday former DPP chairs Tsai Ing-wen and Frank Hsieh engaged in a dialogue which left observers speculating that they would be willing to accept a campaign by Ko as a non-party candidate. Ko declined to comment on their discussion Thursday, saying that "Taiwan's politics don’t need to be over-interpreted, let everyone discuss these things all together.” With that, Ko and Lee Ying-yuan entered the prison to visit Chen Shui-bian.

HOME |  WORLD |  Politics |  Business |  Sports |  Lifestyle |  TAIWAN |  Technology |  Health |  SUPPLEMENT |  Society |  OPINION
  • Taiwan News  ©  2014 All Rights Reserved.