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DPP Taipei mayoral TV debate on March 9
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-26 05:34 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Democratic Progressive Party’s five contenders to run for mayor of Taipei City will take part in a televised debate March 9, the main opposition party announced Wednesday.

The event will not include National Taiwan University Hospital trauma chief Ko Wen-je, who has been leading polls for the opposition side but who also has so far refused to join the DPP.

“When you run for mayor, discussing city politics is the most responsible attitude,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said, adding that the debate would provide the contenders with the opportunity to present their policy programs to the capital’s voters.

Su rejected reporters’ suggestions that the debate could turn into a joint attack against Ko, who has faced criticism for his hesitant attitude. Ko has repeatedly called for a broad coalition to defeat the Kuomintang, which has governed Taipei City since 1998.

The DPP chairman said the candidates would concentrate on the real issues facing citizens and would do their best to tell the public about their views on the development on the capital, rather than to focus on one person.

Party spokesman Lin Chun-hsien said the leadership had not reached a consensus yet on how to deal with Ko. There was no time pressure while the party listened to public opinion before reaching a decision, Lin said.

The DPP usually selects candidates by holding opinion polls, but the question has been whether or not to include Ko because of his outside status.

The March 9 will be staged at the Taipei International Convention Center in cooperation with Formosa Television, Lin said.

The five DPP contenders are former Vice President Annette Lu, attorney Wellington Koo, lawmakers Hsu Tain-tsair and Yao Wen-chih, and Taipei City Council vice speaker Chou Po-ya.

On the KMT side, Central Committee member Sean Lien announced his long-expected bid at a news conference last Monday. He is expected to take on lawmakers Ting Shou-chung and Alex Tsai and Taipei City Councilors Chung Hsiao-ping and Chin Huei-chu in a primary, but the timetable has not yet been decided.

Recent opinion polls put Ko and Lien neck-and-neck in the November 29 election.

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