Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ko calls for blanket financial disclosure after local elections

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday called on politicians to publish the accounts of their election funds after the year-end local elections, after some expressed doubts over his use of political funding during his 2014 mayoral campaign.

Ko has been criticized by former allies, including Yao Li-ming (姚立明) and Hsiao Ya-tan (蕭亞譚), who were members of Ko’s campaign team.

Yao has said that many of Ko’s expenses were not honestly declared.

Hsiao has said that Ko gave NT$500,000 to an official who is now a Cabinet member, after Yao rejected his money.

“People who intend to run in the [Nov. 24] elections better disclose the balance sheets of their political funds” after the elections, Ko said at the X Fail Conference for start-ups held at Taipei’s Syntrend Creative Park yesterday, in response to media reports.

The annual conference invites celebrities to share how they overcame failures and became successful, and is cohosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the municipality, the National Development Council and the Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Association of Taiwan.

During the 2014 campaign, Ko did not purchase any TV commercials or advertisement, nor did he buy off media owners and political commentators, as traditional politicians did, Ko told the more than 300 attendees.

Recounting his political achievements over the past three years, Ko said last year’s Taipei Summer Universiade was a “Taiwanese miracle.”

“The secret of success is forgetting your past failures,” he said, adding that public criticism of the city’s lantern festival in 2016 had not deterred him from making progress.

Despite all-around attacks on his person, he has not forsaken his “core values” and would not lose his passion for people and things, Ko said.

Liu Wei-lin (劉威麟), a commentator on Internet trends also speaking at the event, said that despite Ko’s mixed reviews, no other politicians is “cooler” than Ko, as he does not hesitate to take advice from young people and has developed unconventional and appealing campaigns.

Online campaigns are clearly becoming more important for politicians, especially for those who would vie for the seat of Taipei Mayor, Liu said.

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