Former presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) yesterday threw his support behind Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nomination in the presidential election in 2016, saying that it is time to pass the torch to the new generation of politicians.
Koo, 86, told a press briefing that while he was not yet close to the 52-year-old mayor, he “had high expectations” for Lai, who has finished high among local government leaders’ performance rankings for the past few years.
The briefing was organized by Taiwan Brain Trust, a think tank Koo founded.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), both early favorites to win the DPP presidential nomination, did not get Koo’s nod, as the senior politician described Su as “a local politician at best” and Tsai as “not ready for the vast responsibility.”
However, Koo said he would support Su in seeking his second two-year term as party chairman over Tsai because Su has been trying to increase the DPP’s member base, which “had gone down during Tsai’s tenure” between 2008 and last year.
Addressing the ongoing political strife between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Koo said Ma had made a big mistake when he decided to meet with Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), who used illegal wiretapping to collect information about Wang’s alleged improper lobbying.
“It was like telling lies. After telling the first lie, all you could do afterward is keep lying. All Ma could do was make one mistake after another,” Koo said.
Koo urged Wang to establish a new party called the Taiwan Nationalist Party if his party membership was stripped away to distinguish the new party from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).