Sun, Jun 08, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Independent and DPP Taipei mayoral candidates debate civic participation

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Independent Taipei mayoral aspirant Ko Wen-je, left, and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pasuya Yao shake hands as they take part in a debate in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Independent Taipei mayoral aspirant Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday highlighted civic participation and the failure of party politics in Taiwan during a final debate with his opponent, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), as part of the DPP’s second-stage primary for the Taipei mayoral campaign.

The third and final televised debate took place at Formosa Television yesterday afternoon before a final public opinion poll is to be conducted on Thursday.

Ko spoke about his idea of creating an opposition alliance (在野大聯盟) — seeking participation and consensus from major social groups, including the DPP, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, the People First Party, civic groups and student activists — to replace the country’s system of two main political parties.

Citing the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), Ko said that the 74 percent of the public opposed to the construction of the nuclear power plant and a bill to terminate the construction of the plant has been delayed in the Legislature Yuan for years suggest representative politics in Taiwan has failed.

Creating an opposition alliance and expanding civic participation could end “blue camp versus green camp” conflicts and allow the nation to “reset,” he said.

“If I am elected, I will form a civic participation committee in the Taipei City Government to allow more civic groups to participate in policymaking,” Ko said, stressing the need for an open and transparent government.

Transparency and civic participation would he the backbone of his administration, he said.

Responding to Ko’s challenge on political parties, Yao highlighted DPP’s contributions to the nation’s politics.

Saying the DPP was capable of organizing campaigns and ruling governments, Yao said the opposition alliance might be just a bubble.

“Now both Ko and I have a very good chance at defeating Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) — who represents the privileged class of the KMT and whose family has enjoyed privileges and interests from China — and we should hold on to that chance,” Yao said.

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