Talk of the Day - Taipei mayor hopefuls under scrutiny
Central News Agency
2014-02-23 06:05 PM
Two prospective candidates for Taipei mayor -- independent Ko Wen-je and the ruling Kuomintang's (KMT's) Sean Lien -- are under close public scrutiny as they are seen as the frontrunners for the November election. According to recent polls, Lien, the son of former Vice President Lien Chan and a member of the Kuomintang central committee, would be neck-and-neck with Ko in the race. Ko, a physician at National Taiwan University Hospital, has said that even if he decides to run as an independent candidate, he will align with the pan-green camp, which is dominated by the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). But former DPP Vice President Annette Lu, who has also expressed interest in running for Taipei mayor, on Saturday questioned Ko's affiliation with China and Lien, and whether the DPP should back Ko. The following are excerpts from local newspapers reports on the issue on Sunday: China Times: Asked about his views on Taiwan-China relations, Ko said recently that he has visited China 18 times and has taught many classes there on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Ko said he has a better understanding of China than anyone in the green camp. Lu, meanwhile, alleged Saturday that China has been helping Ko to sell ECMO. The former vice president also said she would ask Ko to explain his relationship with the Lien family. When allegations surfaced recently that Sean Lien had attended a Playboy bunny party as a student in the United States, Ko defended him, Lu said. Some DPP members said Lu's statements lumped Ko and Lien together and could touch a sensitive nerve among pan-green supporters regarding cross-strait issues. (Feb. 23, 2014) Liberty Times: Former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen and former DPP Premier Frank Hsieh have both said they hope their party will consider adding Ko to its recently released list of potential candidates for Taipei mayor. In response, Lu criticized Tsai and Hsieh, saying anyone who thinks a DPP member cannot win the Taipei mayoral election is not fit to chair the party. "If you think there is no other talent in the DPP, why run for chairman?" Lu said. Supporters of Tsai and Hsieh are already campaigning in preparation for the DPP's chairmanship election in May. Meanwhile, supporters of the "Grand Opposition Alliance" urged Ko to run for Taipei mayor as an independent rather than on a DPP ticket. Taipei City councilor Chen Chien-ming of the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union said Taipei needs a mayor that is not aligned with any political party and can therefore expose corruption. Ko said Saturday that if he was elected, he would eventually work with the DPP, but he was determined to walk his own path. In response to Lu's allegations that he was defending Lien, Ko said he adhered to standards of right and wrong, even in the case of an opponent. (Feb. 23, 2014) United Daily News: Lien will announce his bid for Taipei mayor at Taipei Circle on Monday. KMT Taipei City Councilor Chin Hui-chu criticized the choice of the location, saying it shows Lien's lack of understanding of city affairs, as Taipei Circle represented a series of unsuccessful projects launched by the previous and incumbent KMT mayors. Incumbent Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said Saturday, however, that Lien's choice shows his concern for city affairs and desire to further develop the western Taipei area. (By Christie Chen)
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