Tue, May 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

No decision on DPP to have candidate against Ko at least until end of month

STILL VACILLATING:Taipei city councilors voicing support for Pasuya Yao to run have reportedly been criticized by DPP officials for giving the wrong image

By Yang Chun-hui and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sources said it would decide whether to run its own nominee for Taipei mayor in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections by the end of this month at the earliest.

Although pan-green camp support for independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) re-election is waning, high-level party officials are still leaning toward maintaining the relationship, the sources said.

However, the option for running its own candidate remains on the table, and the party needs to reach a consensus with Ko if it is to continue working with him, the sources added.

Two issues that need to be clarified are Ko’s stance on “Taiwanese values” (台灣價值) — an expression used by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in a January speech that was questioned by Ko, as well as how they would cooperate on his campaign, the sources said.

DPP nominee selection committee member Huang Cheng-kuo (黃承國) said the party would announce its strategy for November polls tomorrow, and it would be holding many more meetings ahead of the elections.

DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), who has been campaigning for the DPP to nominate him for the Taipei race, mobilized his supporters for a street rally on April 22, where he criticized Ko for “distorting” the DPP’s image.

Almost all of the DPP’s Taipei city councilors — 90 percent — joined the rally.

However, some central party officials have criticized the city councilors for speaking against Ko, saying that they are giving the impression that there is no internal consensus, the sources said.

A public opinion poll released last month found 70 percent of respondents in their 20s support Ko, a rating unlikely to be equaled by a DPP candidate, but the growing chorus of complaints about Ko inside the party is putting the DPP in a tight spot, they said.

Some DPP supporters have said they would not vote for the party in the future it continues to work with Ko, the sources added.

Some party supporters feel that the best move would be a DPP nominee, as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is unlikely to win the Taipei race, and even the risk of a DPP candidate losing to Ko would be better than a party rift, the sources said.

Asked to comment about the DPP opposition, Ko said he could only focus on his own affairs.

“External issues are beyond one’s control,” he said, adding that he had no way of influencing the DPP.

Asked about the “Taiwanese values” issue, Ko said one had to approach the question with a healthy and positive attitude.

“In talking about Taiwanese values, whether we are talking about democracy, freedom, open-mindedness, honesty in government or love of one’s native land, one must discuss the issue with a positive attitude,” he said.

In related news, the KMT is expected to announce its challenger to Ko tomorrow, which many expect to be former legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), sources said.

Additional reporting by Shen Pei-yao

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