Thu, Nov 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

2018 ELECTIONS: Committee to monitor Ko campaign spending

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, left, laughs yesterday as his mayoral election campaign manager Lee Yuan, who writes under the pen name Hsiao Yeh, talks to reporters at his campaign office in Taipei.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) election campaign office yesterday announced members of its financial supervisory committee and its campaign expenditures so far as Ko urged other mayoral candidates to follow suit.

Ko asked for a two-hour leave from Taipei City Council to attend a news conference at the office, saying that his campaign expenditures for the 2014 election were publicized by then-campaign office director and political commentator Yao Li-ming (姚立明).

As Yao in March questioned his previous campaign spending, Ko said he decided to hold an open audition and establish a financial supervisory committee to monitor his spending this year.

Office spokesman Lin Hsiao-chi (林筱淇) said four of the total seven committee members were recruited through interviews and three were appointed by Ko, adding that the committee aims to make the expenditures more transparent.

The office said that it has so far raised NT$41.7 million (US$1.35 million) from July 3 to Sept. 30, and spent a total of NT$15.14 million.

Ko said he also took out a NT$20 million mortgage on his house, adding that he does not plan to raise any more funding for the campaign, and hopes to offset the spending with the election subsidy of NT$30 per vote.

Wu Chia-Yuan (吳嘉沅), a committee member and Social Impact Institute of Taiwan chairperson, said the committee members would monitor the legitimacy of the campaign’s financial sources and make sure the funds are put to good use.

The NT$48,000 fine that the Taipei City Government imposed on the office for parking a campaign truck in Qixing Park (七星公園) in Beitou District (北投) would not be covered by public donations, Wu said

Ko said the political principles of “open government, and open and transparent public participation” that he often repeats are not only slogans, but are principles that he implements.

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