Ko Wen-je to stoke war chest for Taipei mayor race
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-15 06:20 PM
The spokesperson for Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je said Sunday that although Ko has raised a good amount of funds already, the upcoming campaign will require considerably more financial support and other sources of funds are being sought. Chien Yu-yen said that Ko and his campaign headquarters are considering organizing large-scale fund-raising dinners in the near future to raise money to keep the campaign going during the coming months.

Ko, head of the Trauma Department at National Taiwan University Hospital, topped DPP candidate Pasuya Yao in a telephone survey Thursday to win nomination as a consolidated candidate for opposition parties against the KMT’s Sean Lien in the year-end elections. While Ko outpointed Yao in the DPP telephone poll, the results still await confirmation by the party Central Executive Committee when it meets Wednesday, June 18.

DPP executives confirmed Sunday that the data from the poll will be discussed by the CEC during their Wednesday meeting. There is a tacit agreement in place that even though Ko was not directly nominated by the DPP, it will support him as a single consolidated candidate for the opposition in the year-end election.

Supporting Ko as a consolidated candidate, however, means that leaders of the parties that make up the opposition will need to put their heads together to coordinate some aspects of the mayoral campaign. This calls for integrating their sets of values, developing a campaign architecture and working out other aspects of the campaign. For starters, Ko will visit DPP headquarters Monday to begin discussions with party planners and strategists on how to map out activities over the next few months.

A spokesperson for the DPP said Sunday there should be no major problems in putting together a platform for political and philosophical ideals to support Ko. The main problem will be how to integrate the various opposition parties into the campaign mix. Ko and the various DPP candidates for city councilor are fairly familiar with each other; but elements from other parties such as the PFP and the TSU also need to be incorporated. Otherwise, said the spokesperson, Ko could not be termed a true consolidated candidate for the opposition.

Chien pointed out that to date in his campaigning, Ko has been careful to notify city councilors of the DPP, TSU and PFP before taking part in local political events. In the future, as the consolidated candidate, the Ko camp will pay even more attention to coordinating activities with the various opposition parties.

Some DPP city councilors have said they hope Ko will devote a good part of his campaigning to backing DPP candidates in city council races. Chien responded to their concerns by saying that Ko will do his best to support all candidates running on behalf of parties in the opposition alliance.

Chien also revealed that a fund was set up at the end of April to cover Ko’s expenses in the mayoral campaign. She said that so far about NT$10 million has been donated, but that is already being stretched by the need to cover mounting personnel costs, office expenses and advertising and publicity. In the future the campaign will look to fundraising among the general public, and planners are also considering the feasibility of holding large-scale fund-raising dinners.

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