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Su denies DPP too slow about Taipei mayoral choice
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-01 04:19 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang denied accusations Saturday that his party was too slow in making a decision on how to nominate a candidate for the Taipei City mayoral election.

Independent physician Ko Wen-je, the frontrunner in many polls, has so far not decided whether or not to join the DPP, while five party hopefuls are holding a televised debate on March 9.

A member of the party’s leading Central Executive Committee, Hung Chih-kun, was reportedly planning to submit a proposal to next Wednesday’s meeting to resolve the impasse. Hung serves as a campaign adviser to Ko, reports said.

However, the party leadership was moving forward step by step and did not have to play along to scripts written by the media, Su told reporters in the margin of the Taiwan Association of University Professors Lunar New Year reception Saturday.

He praised the decision of the five DPP contenders to participate in a televised debate. Those who wanted to be mayor needed to present their views on the capital’s development to the citizens, Su said. The debate would serve as a platform for the candidates to exchange views and inform the public, he added.

The five hopefuls 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.

Ko has been emphasizing the need for a broad coalition against the ruling Kuomintang, which he feels might become more difficult to form if he joins the DPP. Some of the other opposition contenders have opposed including Ko in eventual opinion surveys to decide who the ultimate opposition candidate will be.

The popular physician is expected to deliver a speech Sunday at a charity event organized by the Taiwan Medical Association Foundation. On the Internet, the group had planned to raise NT$1 million (US$32,900), but in the end, NT$1.63 million (US$53,700) came in, reports said. Ko’s aides said he would not discuss the elections and the event was purely about charity, not about the campaign, but its success showed his popularity.

On the KMT side, a primary election is expected to make the final choice. Contenders at present include Central Committee member Sean Lien, lawmakers Ting Shou-chung and Alex Tsai, and Taipei City Councilors Chung Hsiao-ping and Chin Huei-chu.

Lien, who announced his bid with much fanfare last Monday, recently emphasized the need for more trade liberalization to boost the economy. He has come under fire for his wealthy background and close relationship with prominent business leaders. His father, KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan, only recently returned from a trip to China during which he met with communist leader Xi Jinping for the second time in almost one year.

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