Tue, Nov 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: KMT’s Ting narrows gap with Ko: poll

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Hsiao Yeh, center, screenwriter and director of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s re-election campaign, speaks to reporters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) continues to lead in the race for mayor of the capital, but Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) is close on his heels, a survey by Taiwan Competitiveness Forum showed.

Ko garnered a support rating of 36.6 percent, while Ting had 34.3 percent, a difference of only 2.3 percentage points, the policy think tank founded by pro-unification academics said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) received a support rating of 12.7 percent, while the two independent candidates together received less than 1 percent, the poll showed.

The survey, conducted from Oct. 27 to Oct. 29, shows that the surging popularity of KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has had a spillover effect that has benefited Ting, forum chief executive officer Hsieh Ming-hui (謝明輝) said.

A breakdown of the survey by the city’s 12 administrative districts shows Ko and Ting leading in six districts each.

When asked about their party affiliation, 31.7 percent of the respondents said they were KMT supporters, 15.8 percent DPP, 8.1 percent New Power Party (NPP) and 1.6 percent People First Party (PFP), while 32.4 percent did not favor any party, the poll showed.

When asked for comment, Ko said that Ting benefitted from having the support of a party that could help solicit votes.

In related news, Ko’s campaign office spokesman Lin Kun-feng (林昆鋒) dismissed concern over Ko’s campaign director Hsiao Yeh (小野) appearing in a promotion video in support of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁).

Ko’s campaign team is drawn from both pan-blue and pan-green camps and they respect each other’s ideas and decisions, Lin said.

Hsiao Yeh said that he was discussing Kaohsiung’s cultural development in the past two decades with friends in the cultural industries, including directors and authors, when they filmed the video several weeks ago.

He said he is known as an author and screenwriter, so he did not expect to be identified in the clip as Ko’s campaign director.

Members of Ko’s campaign team have different political backgrounds and ideas, but they all believe that Ko can help them achieve their ideas, he said, adding that he supports candidates who are willing to support cultural development regardless of their political affiliation.

Separately, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) members staged a protest in front of Taipei City Hall, accusing Ko of bias in his treatment of political parties.

The Taipei Department of Labor earlier this year inspected TSU’s headquarters and slapped it with a fine of NT$90,000 for not having an employee attendance record.

As TSU has only one full-time staff member, TSU spokesman Yeh Chih-yuan (葉智遠) said the party believes that Ko is trying to “politically liquidate” the party for not backing him.

Yeh asked why the city did not inspect other small political parties.

The department said the inspection was prompted by a tip-off from a member of the public, and that it only found a meeting attendance record, which is different from a record of a staff member’s working hours.

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