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Ko complains about difficult fundraising
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-01 04:50 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Opposition Taipei City mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je said Tuesday that small private meetings he was organizing did not contribute much to his campaign funds.

Ko defeated Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Yao Wen-chih last month to become the opposition’s joint candidate for the November 29 election, but his Kuomintang opponent, Sean Lien, comes from a wealthy family with connections to top politicians and business people.

Ko has styled himself as the candidate of the common people fighting against the wealthy elite as represented by Lien, the son of former Vice President Lien Chan.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Ko acknowledged he had been organizing small meetings inside people’s private homes, where he would explain his views on key issues and discuss politics. Because the meetings were on a limited scale, they did not help his campaign’s financial situation much, Ko said, but as the participants were all concerned with the same type of issue, they were beneficial to his policy stance.

Ko said he gathered people with common backgrounds and interests, such as venture capitalists or art gallery owners. Physicians and artists had also asked him to hold similar meetings with him to address their concerns, the candidate said.

Prodded by journalists to reveal the names of well-known participants, Ko refused because many of his guests did not want to see their presence reported on by the media. He said some people with a pro-KMT background also attended the events to debate him on the issues.

The opposition candidate said he felt sorry for two city neighborhood wardens who had been expelled from the KMT for inviting him to speak. The ruling party should not take such drastic action over an election, he said.

In online comments, Ko accused politicians of being fake and of making too many promises they could not keep. As a result, citizens no longer had any trust in politicians, he said.

Ko said he wanted this year’s election campaign to be a fight between “the real” and “the fake,” and if he won, the word “real” would be chosen as the Chinese character of the year. Last year’s character of the year was “fake” as a result of the numerous food safety scandals.

Despite Taipei City’s image as a KMT stronghold, Ko has been leading Sean Lien in several recent opinion polls. He has maintained his image as an independent in order to support his efforts to forge a wider opposition coalition to topple the KMT.

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