Mon, Feb 16, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Author Neil Peng to stand in legislative election

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Supporters join author Neil Peng, second left, in Taipei yesterday as he announces his intention to stand as a candidate in New Taipei City in next year’s legislative election.

Photo: CNA

Award-winning author and former Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng (馮光遠) yesterday announced his candidacy for next year’s legislative election, saying he does not rule out the possibility of following in Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) footsteps of joining the opposition party’s primary.

A day after the election to recall Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) failed, Peng, who played a part in the Appendectomy Project — a movement birthed during the Sunflower movement last year to recall unfit lawmakers — declared that he would join the legislative race.

Peng is to vie for the electoral district encompassing New Taipei City’s Tamsui (淡水), Bali (八里), Linkou (林口), Shimen (石門), Sanjhih (三芝) and Taishan (泰山) districts, where he is expecting to confront incumbent KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), whom Peng also tried to have recalled, but failed.

Film director and antinuclear power activist Ko I-chen (柯一正) voiced his support for Peng.

“It’s not that we are born rebellious, we have been forced to stand up by how the politics has turned out,” Ko said. “Many have promised to make Taiwan better, but all they have done is serve certain groups of people and strip our children of their assets.”

“When we call for fairness and justice, if it is not aimed for the reforms to the social structure, only a minority of people would be benefited,” Peng added.

Academia Sinica researcher Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), who had a leading role in the Sunflower movement and has been pushing for a lower threshold for national referendums, was also at the press conference to show his support for Peng.

“We have observed [since the Sunflower movement] how wide the gap is between social power and the legislature, which has passed so many bills that should never have been passed. These include the amendment to the Accounting Act (會計法), which was clearly intended for the decriminalization of certain politicians. It also failed to pass progressive bills that should have been passed, such as the cross-strait agreement oversight mechanism,” Huang said.

Huang added that both the ruling and opposition parties have pledged to create legislation to prevent media monopolization, “but nothing has been drawn up.”

“What do we have at our disposal to fight against them when they betray us?” asked Huang.

New Taipei City Councilor Ho Po-wen (何博文), who was elected by the same constituency, said the area is a “difficult place” in which to defeat the ruling party, and called on young district voters to assist Peng’s campaign.

When asked whether he would be willing to cooperate with the Democratic Progressive Party by joining its primary, as Ko Wen-je did for his Taipei mayoral election, Peng responded in the affirmative, “but only if their candidates have good policies and a strong will to defend democracy.”

He also announced his withdrawal from the Taipei City Government’s Clean Government Commission “to clear up any doubts of a conflict of interest.”

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