Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 0 News List

Lu says Taipei needs ‘emerald’

‘EXPERIENCED’:’Grandmother green’ is what the capital needs, former vice president Annette Lu said. Using ‘Emerald’ as her election campaign nickname would be ‘too cute’

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu smiles during the “Women discuss politics” forum that she hosted in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Rejecting what she called “age discrimination” against her, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said that if she runs in the Taipei mayoral race, she would use “emerald” as her campaign image.

“The capital needs an experienced female leader,” Lu said.

Since she announced her bid for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Taipei mayoral primary on Thursday last week, Lu, 73, has been ridiculed as “grandmother green” — a literal translation of the Chinese name for the gem — due to her age and DPP membership.

Lu would organize her campaign around the image if she enters the race, she said at a discussion about the participation of women in politics held in Taipei yesterday, adding that she is considering using “Emerald” as her nickname, because the gem’s connotation is “too cute.”

The emerald is the queen of jewels and was first found in Egypt, where Cleopatra was born, Lu said.

“I am more than willing to use emerald as my campaign image, whether as the grandmother of [pan-]green or the grandmother of gems,” Lu said.

Her running for mayor would challenge age and gender discrimination, she said, adding that she would transform the capital into a “city of flowers.”

There are more than 12.9 million Taiwanese aged 50 or older, and improving society requires concerted effort on the part of all generations, both young and old, Lu said.

One of the benefits of increased participation by women in politics and public affairs is that, with women in power, war can be avoided, she said.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has benefited from the help of four women: his wife, Peggy Chen (陳佩琪); his mother, Ho Jui-ying (何瑞英); his former chief of staff, Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如); and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Lu said.

Ko is convinced that Tsai Ing-wen will help him get re-elected by the DPP not selecting their own candidate for mayor, the former vice president said.

“If a male Taipei mayor depends on the protection of four women, who can the 2.68 million residents depend on? They might as well depend on a woman,” Lu said.

A variety of flowers, such as cherry blossoms and roses, should be planted around the capital, turning it into a city of flowers, Lu said of her vision to improve Taipei.

She said she would also gather proposals from experts on how to best deal with earthquakes, flooding, global warming and the possibility of a nuclear disaster because of aging nuclear power plants being close to Taipei.

She is in talks with advertising agencies and plans to launch an “emerald” campaign commercial on electronic billboards before the Lunar New Year, she said.

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