Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Local Elections: Ko says it is KMT’s fault he is mayor

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, center, yesterday participates in an office-chair race along the city’s Wenchang Street organized by the Taipei City Office of Commerce and the Wenchang Furniture Street Development Association.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said it was the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) fault that he became the mayor.

Ko made the remark at a discussion session during the Za Share EXPO for Innovative Education held in Huashan 1914 Creative Park.

When talking about the topic “my dream” with expo founder Su Yang-chih (蘇仰志), Ko was asked why he became the mayor after being a physician for many years.

“It was the KMT’s fault,” Ko said abruptly after pondering the question for a few seconds.

He said he was doing well as a doctor at National Taiwan University Hospital until he was given a demerit, recalled by the Control Yuan and even investigated by the Investigation Bureau and a local prosecutors’ office under the KMT administration.

Ko said he had no other professional skills, so he decided to run for mayor of Taipei, but added that he learns very fast and has strong willpower, as demonstrated by his 520km “twin-tower” bicycle trip from the nation’s northernmost Fuguijiao Lighthouse (富貴角燈塔) in Keelung to the southernmost Oluanpi Lighthouse (鵝鑾鼻燈塔) in Pingtung County in June last year.

Being a mayor does not require a special educational or professional background, but he or she should be capable of adapting to the needs of the city, he said.

When asked to comment on the possibility of KMT Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) running against him in next year’s Taipei mayoral election, Ko said that he has been asked similar questions that involved different potential candidates, including Chiang and National Taiwan University political science professor Li Hsi-kun (李錫錕).

Li, who on Wednesday expressed his intent to compete for the mayoral seat, has gained more than 500,000 followers online due to his humorous analysis of current affairs.

“I think the important thing is to properly do what I should do every day, because thinking about those questions does no good; it only makes you lose your mind,” he said.

Asked to comment on Li’s potential bid, Ko said that everyone has the right to run in an election and that he thinks the Internet is interesting and unpredictable.

However, as he has not watched any of Li’s lecture videos online, Ko said he has no idea whether he will be a strong opponent.

Asked whether he intends to run for president in the future, Ko said that he visited Dharma Master Cheng Yen (證嚴法師) in Hualien County a few weeks ago and suddenly thought that the president might not even have greater influence on Taiwanese society than Master Cheng Yen.

“I began to think about how political figures should transform into a cultural preacher to have a more profound and effective influence,” he said, adding that a nation’s power lies in the people, so the level of a nation’s citizens is reflected in the president they elect.

Ko said he thinks the “current level” of Taiwanese is slightly lower than those of advanced nations in Europe and the US.

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