Sun, Oct 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taipei challengers criticize mayor’s stance on debates

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung, center, dressed as a Paiwan warrior, draws a sword at his mayoral election campaign headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) have criticized Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), for not accepting an invitation to participate in a televised debate.

Ko, an independent seeking re-election, declined an invitation to attend the Taipei session of a Taipei and New Taipei City Youth Forum organized by more than a dozen university student associations.

Ko on Thursday said he wants to focus on administrative work and turn to campaigning after he takes leave from his mayoral post on Nov. 8.

On Friday he said his decision to not attend the forum does not mean he would not take part in debates with other mayoral candidates.

Ting, Yao and independent Taipei mayoral candidate Lee Si-kuen (李錫錕) have agreed to attend the Taipei session.

Ko was avoiding televised debates and the forum, Ting said yesterday, asking whether it was because Ko cannot stand being grilled by the public.

With Taipei losing its competitiveness in the world and its residents becoming the working poor, Ko is unwilling to face the people and only willing to appear on popular video blogs, playing a fool to deceive young people, Ting said.

Yao on Friday evening said that attending televised debates is a basic requirement for mayoral candidates in the nation’s capital.

Residents should despise candidates who are unwilling to attend, Yao said.

Yao yesterday presented questions for Ko: Would he attend an open debate? How will he deal with the Taipei Dome project and why is it not in his white papers? What did he discuss during visits to China with doctors allegedly involved with organ harvesting?

“I will certainly take part in debates and I did not say I would not attend, but I have my own schedule,” Ko said yesterday, adding that it makes no sense that everyone must attend debates organized by a certain group.

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