National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital’s department of traumatology director Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday that he is taking a year’s leave from the hospital to work on his campaign for the Taipei mayoral election in December next year.
In what appeared to be the strongest hint yet at his determination to participate in the election, the physician said he would take a year’s leave of absence from the NTU Hospital, beginning in January next year, to run his campaign.
“My campaign is now in the second phase, during which the main objective will be establishing a campaign office and fundraising,” said Ko, who is running as an independent and has been leading all the pan-green camp aspirants in most public opinion polls.
Ko said he is open to the “necessary cooperative measures,” including joining the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), if the pan-green camp wants to conduct negotiations among all the aspirants before settling on a final candidate.
The DPP is still in the exploratory phase of its party primary for the Taipei mayoral election, with at least four aspirants having expressed an interest in the candidacy, including former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄) and Taipei City Council Deputy Speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅).
Ko said he had been taking free opportunities to promote himself and his ideas in the first stage of the campaign, in which he has made public appearances at activities organized by other politicians.
In the second phase, Ko hopes to raise at least NT$1 million (US$33,700) for his campaign expenses before May next year and he said part would come from the proceeds of a book he has published.
Several DPP aspirants, in particular Lu, oppose the party’s inclusion of Ko in its public opinion polls, which would determine the party’s final candidate, because he is not a member of the DPP.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last