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DPP backs Ko Wen-je for mayor
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-18 05:45 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s Central Executive Committee officially ratified independent surgeon Ko Wen-je Wednesday as its candidate for the elections for mayor of Taipei City scheduled for November 29.

The decision dispelled all doubts that the main opposition party would prefer one of its own members, in particular lawmaker Yao Wen-chih, to run for mayor of the capital.

Ko, 55, won three opinion surveys held on June 12 to determine whether he or Yao would run against Kuomintang nominee Sean Lien, 44. Even though the precise results were not publicized, both opposition contenders finished with more support in the polls than Lien, the son of former Vice President Lien Chan.

“The party should integrate as many opposition forces as possible to end the KMT elitist control over Taipei City,” DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien quoted party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen as saying.

He expressed the hope that Ko could visit the party’s grassroots and understand its supporters, while campaigning to help all of the DPP’s 27 candidates for the Taipei City Council to win election.

Wednesday’s CEC meeting also gave the green light for opinion polls by the end of the month to decide who would become the joint opposition mayoral candidate in New Taipei City, DPP nominee Yu Shyi-kun or Taiwan Solidarity Union Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia.

An opinion poll published by the San-lih Television group Wednesday put support for Ko at 46 percent against 27.9 percent for Lien. When asked who they thought would be elected mayor however, 40.1 percent of respondents named Lien and only 34.8 percent mentioned Ko.

After it became clear last week that Lien and Ko would be the two official candidates, former DPP lawmaker Shen Fu-hsiung, 75, announced an independent bid. He lashed out at Ko as a novice and described Lien as a child of privilege because of his wealthy family background.

Ko also faced tough opposition from within the DPP though, most precisely in the form of former Vice President Annette Lu, who initially also wanted to run for mayor. She accused the DPP leadership of blatant defeatism in the face of an outside challenge. Ko said recently he was planning to meet with her to discuss his bid.

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