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Yao, Ko to battle for opposition spot in Taipei mayor race
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-15 10:47 AM
NTUH Trauma Department Director Ko Wen-je said Wednesday that if he falls too far behind DPP poll winner Pasuya Yao in future opinion polls he will drop out of the race rather than attempt to campaign as a third force in the November elections. Asked for numbers as a "handicap” in setting a bottom line for quitting or continuing, Ko said that if he and Yao are seen to be separated by only one or two percent in polling, he will opt to "let the people choose."

Yao told the press Wednesday he will stand for election based on his firm values and those of the DPP. Yao said that even though early polls show him trailing KMT candidate Sean Lien in head-to-head race, to be within striking distance of Lien at this stage of the campaign “should be considered a victory for us.”

Yao said he is ready to compete in the election to determine an integrated opposition candidate and is willing to participate in debates and discussions on issues regarding Taipei City. He said he would support the idea of two or possibly three debates with the two non-party candidates in the race for mayor of Taipei City.

Ko responded that he was also prepared to face the “unavoidable" and participate in the election for an integrated candidate as laid out by the DPP, including debates if necessary. He said that his campaign is preparing about 30 campaign adds to be launched in June in order to drum up more support in the coming contest.

Ko noted that as part of his campaign to serve as an opposition alliance candidate he will look into the possibility of working with elements of the KMT, the PFP and other political bodies, acting to "integrate as much as we can for the campaign."

Lawyer Wellington Koo, who had been regarded as the front runner in the DPP phase of the nominating process but was outpolled by Yao Tuesday night, issued a statement thank the public and his campaigners for their support. He pledged to continue working with friends and concerned citizens to handle issues related to public affairs, and to support democracy, human rights and the rule of law. He promised to "continue working for the city and the country I love."

Hsu Tain-tsair, who finished a distant third in Tuesday’s poll, said that the election gained him a lot of new friends as well as wider recognition. He said that even though he did not win, he is still thankful to all who supported him during his campaign.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang told reporters Wednesday that the second phase of the party’s quest to find an integrated opposition candidate to face the KMT slate in November will be complete by June 13 at the latest. At that time all data from the polling and balloting in the party’s two stages of the primary will be turned over to the party Central Executive Committee for evaluation to determine the final integrated candidate for the opposition.

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