Sun, Jan 05, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Groups urge DPP to name strongest pan-green runner

By Rich Chang, Lee Hsing-fang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

A group of pro-localization organizations yesterday called on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to nominate the strongest candidate for the pan-green camp for this year’s Taipei mayoral election, possibly suggesting they support independent aspirant Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who has been leading the pan-green camp hopefuls in several public opinion poll conducted by media outlets.

At a press conference held in Taipei yesterday, Taiwan Society President Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said the DPP has been following party regulations which stipulate that an aspirant has to be a party member before they can be recruited by the party to run in the election.

“All these rules can be changed,” Chang said, calling on the DPP to have a “tolerant heart.”

The reason Ko is leading in most polls is that the public wants change, Eastern Taiwan Society president Winston Yu (余文儀) said.

Former Taiwan Society President Wu Shu-min (吳樹民) added that the groups are not outrightly recommending Ko, but simply hope the DPP would engage in introspection.

The groups suggested that the party postpone its nomination process to name its Taipei mayoral candidate until the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) announces its candidate.

The groups also suggested the party conduct a national opinion poll on all pan-green camp Taipei mayoral aspirants.

Under the group’s proposal, the opinions of Taipei residents would account for 70 percent of the result and the views of the rest of the nation would account for 30 percent.

Whoever won the poll would be named the candidate.

Separately yesterday, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) tried to garner support for her bid to be named the DPP’s candidate by holding a ceremony in Daan Forest Park to launch her official campaign support groups.

Attended by more than 1,000 supporters, including the wardens of ten boroughs, Lu said that Taipei has witnessed numerous fiascoes stemming from the successive administrations of former mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) who she called the Taizidang (太子黨) or Princelings Party.

Lu promised that if she were elected as Taipei mayor, she would purge the city hall of “the princelings’ filth.”

When asked about her potential rival, Ko, director of National Taiwan University Hospital’s department of traumatology, Lu said: “[If] a savior says to you he would unite non-partisan parties into a great alliance and asks you to turn Taipei over to him; if ever there were such a person, he should have joined us after the Kaohsiung Incident (美麗島事件), shouldn’t he?”

The Kaohsiung Incident occurred on Dec. 10, 1979, when the then-KMT government imprisoned participants of an anti-government parade.

Lu was jailed for her role in the human rights rally.

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