Wellington Koo (顧立雄), an aspirant in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) primary for the Taipei mayoral election, yesterday submitted a proposal to resolve the longstanding dispute about the party’s nomination process.
Unveiling his “three-step” proposal at a press conference yesterday, Koo proposed that the DPP complete its primary, which would be conducted in the form of a public opinion poll, by the end of next month.
Koo said the second step would be three debates between the DPP primary winner and specific independent candidates, before the final stage of another public opinion poll to determine the pan-green camp candidate in the mayoral election, slated for November.
The independent candidate is likely to be National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the frontrunner among all pan-green camp hopefuls, who says he prefers to run as an independent.
If the DPP primary winner lost to the independent, Koo’s proposal said the party would offer full support to the independent.
The lawyer urged the DPP against defeatism and called on DPP primary hopefuls to “have the courage to throw a fastball to the hitter,” apparently urging DPP aspirants to put up a good fight against Ko.
The proposed mechanism is a feasible option because it could ease the anxiety among DPP supporters without changing the current DPP regulations, Koo said.
Koo’s proposal was a variation of two previous options that the DPP has been mulling.
The “one phase” format would see Ko included with DPP members in the party’s public opinion poll, while the other option would have a DPP-only initial poll, with the winner of that facing Ko in a second poll to determine who would be the party’s candidate.
However, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), one of the contenders in the primary, appeared to oppose the inclusion of Ko in the primary.
In an open letter to the party’s Central Executive Committee yesterday, Lu urged the party to abide by its regulations as “the rules of the game” should not to be swayed by any one person.
Lu blasted Ko over his recent disparaging comments about the DPP, such as saying: “I am glad I’m not a DPP member.”
She said that his nonpartisan stance was dangerous, because it could turn out to serve the interests of Beijing amid China’s relentless effort of “soft annexation.”
“The DPP should not be a bridesmaid for others’ success,” Lu said.