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Ko: If I don’t join DPP before election, I won’t join afterwards
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-20 10:28 AM
Ko Wen-je sought to flesh out his image as an independent candidate for Taipei mayor in a video speech broadcast to Overseas Chinese in the US on Sunday. Ko said that if the does not join the DPP before the elections are held in December, he will not join the party if he wins the election. Ko described his position as a matter of personal and political integrity, saying he would not use his position as a non-party candidate just to deceive the public and win votes.

Ko drew more than 300 overseas Chinese from the Greater Washington, D.C., branch of the Taiwanese Association to view his New Year’s greeting. The NTU trauma director’s speech touched on a number of political issues concerning Taiwan and inspired an enthusiastic round of questions regarding his positions on the election.

Asked who he felt the Blue camp would field in the mayoral election, Ko surprised some in the audience by saying Sean Lien would not necessarily be the KMT candidate. “I don’t know who Ma Ying-jeou will dub for the election,” he proclaimed. "Nobody knows who Ma Ying-jeou will pull out of his pocket to run for mayor."

Ko told the viewers that at this point in his journey he cannot be sure what lies ahead. He said that with the exception of Ma Ying-jeou’s cronies he is willing to reach out to anyone as a partner. He noted that a few days ago he met former President Lee Teng-hui.. As for whether he might possibly visit KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan, Ko was more non-committal. "Visit Lien Chan? I probably don’t need to go that far!"

Ko clarified his point, saying that right now his mind is not set on facing Sean Lien as an opponent in the election. After all, he mused, everyone is still waiting to see what happens in the jostling among possible KMT nominees. He continued, "Maybe Ma (Ying-jeou), and King (Pu-tsung) will push aside the whole Lien family, and Lien Chan could wind up supporting me."

Asked whether he will cooperate with the DPP, Ko acknowledged that the DPP is his most important partner both before and after the upcoming elections. He described the DPP as the “major league” opposition in Taiwan, saying that anyone who cannot take advantage of the power of the DPP is little more than “Little League" opposition. Therefore, he said, it is absolutely essential that he maintain good interaction with the DPP.

Ko stated frankly that if he does not join the DPP before the elections and does succeed in being elected mayor of Taipei, he will not join the party after the elections. He said that as a matter of principle, his personal and political integrity would not allow him to do so "because I will not cheat others to win votes." Nevertheless, he added, the DPP remains his most important political partner.

One supporter worried about a lack of enthusiasm in the Green camp asked Ko if he has the ambition necessary to put together a campaign team and fight to the end. Ko responded by noting that the coming election was like a "capital venture." He said he was like Apple founder Steve Jobs or Microsoft founder Bill Gates starting small from a garage. In this situation, he said, relying on an innovative style of play will not necessarily lead to success.

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