Tue, Aug 21, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ko appearance at PFP event spurs speculation

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, left, yesterday shakes hands with People First Party ( PFP) Chairman James Soong, right, at a PFP campaign event in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday triggered speculation that he might cooperate with the People First Party (PFP) for the Nov. 24 elections as he attended the Taipei launch of an alliance of several PFP and independent city councilors and candidates.

PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) also attended the launch of the Taipei Supervising Alliance, made up of PFP city councilors Chen Cheng-chung (陳政忠), Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) and Lin Kuo-cheng (林國成), PFP councilor candidate Hung Shih-chi (洪士奇), independent city councilor Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元) and independent council candidate Hsu Li-hsin (徐立信).

Asked by reporters if his attendance meant he was considering an alliance with Soong, Ko said: “I meet privately with Chairman Soong once every two or three months, so we do not have any problems communicating with each other. There are four current city councilors in the alliance, who I know and who have often supported me.”

Asked if the alliance would be part of the “Ko team” for the election, he said that was an “over-interpretation.”

When Soong was asked if the PFP supported Ko and whether he might want to team up with Ko for the 2020 presidential election, he was diplomatic

“Mayor Ko and the PFP, as well as I, have the same thoughts, because he said ‘two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait are one family,’ which correctly describes the situation to the public,” Soong said, adding that Ko likely made the remark because he knows being a politician means he needs to be “practical.”

As for the 2020 elections, he was more concerned about whether Ko does well as mayor, he said.

Asked if he expects Ko to perform well until the end of his term if he is re-elected in November or if he hopes Ko can “rise to a higher level,” Soong said he hoped Ko can perform his duties well at present, and that he hoped Taipei could rise to a higher level.

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