Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-12 05:38 PM
Elected wardens Lo Tsun-hsiung and Sun Cheh invited the outspoken surgeon to speak in the Neihu District before, and as a result the KMT city division decided to expel them from the party.
On Saturday, they again asked Ko to address residents of a neighborhood in Neihu. Lo told reporters that he “loved Ko Wen-je to death” and promised that he would mobilize more KMT wardens and residents to back the opposition candidate.
The neighborhood warden elected in the area where Ko spoke was also a KMT member but was away Saturday on an environmental fact-finding mission to Yilan County, reports said.
Sun told reporters that the invitation was based on Ko’s reputation as a prominent physician, but that a good doctor was not necessarily a good mayor.
Ko has won the support of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, but refused to become a member because he feared it would harm his attempts at forming a wide anti-KMT coalition. He wants to rally small parties such as the People First Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union to his cause.
A recent opinion poll conducted by the Chinese-language Liberty Times put Ko 20 percent ahead of Lien, with Shen finishing a distant third.
On Saturday, he denied reports that he had said his phone was being tapped. Earlier, Ko had reportedly hinted that he felt a telephone conversation with former Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan, a KMT member, was being listened to. Lee however rejected the allegations.
Ko said Saturday that he had not phoned Lee but met him face to face, therefore making eavesdropping impossible. He blamed the erroneous news reports on rumors growing out of proportion.
In an interview with the Liberty Times published Saturday, Ko compared himself to Columbus, saying he was traveling into unknown territory. He described the choice between him and Lien as the choice between progress and decline, saying the KMT candidate lived in another world than most Taipei citizens.
The gap between rich and poor and the difference between Ko’s image as a simple citizen and Lien as the member of a wealthy family has been a recurring element of the campaign.