Mon, Nov 26, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ko Wen-je confirmed as winner in the early hours

By Shen Pei-yao  /  Staff reporter

Supporters of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je display a message in Taipei early yesterday as they wait for the final count to be announced.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

After a ballot count that lasted nearly 10 hours, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je was confirmed as the winner — by a small margin — of the Taipei mayoral election at 2:35am yesterday.

Ko was re-elected for a second term after receiving 580,820 votes, beating Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung’s (丁守中) 577,566 by 3,254.

Polling stations finished counting at 2:35am and at 2:40am Ko was on stage at Four Four South Village in Xinyi District (信義), where his supporters had been waiting for hours.

Supporters shouted: “Taipei chose Ko!”

Ko responded: “I am back.”

“I have nothing but gratitude,” Ko told a news conference at 3:20am.

“I was without support from any political party or corporation. All I had was the support of members of the public,” he said.

“It is because of you that there is now an opportunity for Taiwan’s political scene to be something different. You are the makers of Taiwan’s history,” he told supporters.

The election has established reform as the way forward for politics, he said.

“Change has happened and there is no going back from reforms now,” he said.

He called the result “a victory of democracy” and thanked voters for supporting a new political culture based on pragmatism, communication, public transparency and a more disciplined approach to government finances.

If change can happen in Taipei, it can happen elsewhere, he said.

He thanked his opponents for their constructive criticism and said he would hold himself to higher standards.

He also thanked his campaign team — which he said was “the youngest in history.”

“We are a team. Regardless of where you are heading, this memory ... would will always be with you, along with my gratitude and sincere wishes,” he said.

He then called for solidarity across generations and party lines, saying: “With the election over, I sincerely hope that all prejudices would also come to an end, regardless of who you support and which generation you belong to.”

Asked whether he would complete his second term or run for president in 2020, Ko said his answer has not changed after a year of being asked the question.

“There is no such plan. Why does the rumor keep spreading?” he said.

When asked if he would amend his relationship with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) following its defeats in the nine-in-one elections, Ko said his relationship with the party has seen “little change” in four years.

In the five-way race, Pasuya Yao (姚文智) of the DPP received 244,641 votes, independent Li Hsi-kun (李錫錕) got 6,172 votes and independent Wu E-yang (吳萼洋) got 5,617 votes.

Additional reporting by Huang Chien-hao

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