Thu, Dec 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ko to meet Tsai, officials at Taipei Post Office

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je speaks to reporters at an impromptu news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Shen Pei-yao, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government yesterday confirmed that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would meet with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) at 2pm today at the Taipei Post Office (台北郵局), near the historic North Gate (北門).

Tsai and Cabinet officials are to meet with Ko and city government officials to discuss public issues that would need cooperation between the central and city governments, Taipei City Government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said.

The location was proposed by the Presidential Office because of the wide approval by residents of the West District Gateway Project, which was initiated by Ko’s administration to renovate the North Gate, he said.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) is to make a brief presentation to the president at the North Gate before they head over to the Taipei Post Office for discussions, he added.

Asked whether Ko was unwilling to meet with Tsai, Liu said that the meeting would be open and that the city government welcomes the president and hopes to cooperate with the central government, so such speculation is unnecessary.

In related news, Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Yao Jen-to (姚人多) yesterday posted on Facebook that he wants to apologize to Ko and his wife, and hopes that Ko is willing to stand with Taiwanese, but Ko called Yao’s remark “phony.”

Yao, who is regarded as Tsai’s top speechwriter, wrote that he had been humbly reflecting on himself and felt sorry for the president after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered crushing losses in the Nov. 24 elections, because Tsai had been criticized for “governing with hipsters.”

Yao said that he is not a hipster, but is often labeled as one, adding that he feels misunderstood, but has resigned from Tsai’s advisory group and would no longer write her speech notes.

“Recent media reports have said that Mayor Ko and his wife still hold resentment toward the DPP, so I would like to express my deepest apology to them both,” Yao wrote, adding that he does not regret having helped his friend, former DPP legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), in the mayoral election.

“If I offended Mayor Ko during the election, I hope Mayor Ko can be a person with a big heart,” he wrote. “Taiwan needs you [Ko], because it is facing a difficult situation, so please stand with Taiwanese. I have left the team, so please do not be upset anymore.”

Pasuya Yao had repeatedly criticized Ko during the campaign, and Yao Jen-to’s apology was seen by many as the DPP extending an olive branch to Ko for not supporting his re-election bid.

Asked by reporters to comment on Yao Jen-to’s remarks, Ko twice said: “He has many tricks.”

Ko said that he used to be moved by Yao Jen-to’s “hipsteresque” words, but felt that his new remarks were “phony,” before leaving and declining to comment further.

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