Sun, Apr 21, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Tsai asked Ko for support: report

By Tsai Ya-hua and Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporters

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, center, dances at a combined hiking and clean-up event in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) asked Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) to approach Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) for his support in her re-election bid, the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported, citing an anonymous source.

Tsai, seeking the DPP’s nomination for re-election, faces a challenge from former premier William Lai (賴清德) in the party’s presidential primary.

Tsai asked Chen to persuade Ko, an independent, to run as her running mate in the presidential election next year, the source said.

Chen also asked Ko to tell his people not to run in next year’s legislative elections, saying that the DPP would offer Ko a few legislator-at-large seats in return, under the condition that he supports Tsai.

When reached for comments, Taipei City Government adviser Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如), a close aide to Ko, denied the report, saying: “Ko Wen-je will not be vice president to anyone. His most important job now is to perform his municipal administrative duties and to improve the well-being of Taipei residents.”

Chen denied the report last night.

Separately yesterday, when asked about a survey that showed that 58.4 percent of Taipei residents disapprove of him running for president, Ko said: “Leaving a post in the middle of a term in office should not be a phenomenon in a normal country.”

He said that the answer applies to everyone when asked about the possibility of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) leaving his post to run for president.

A total of 53.4 percent of Kaohsiung residents aged 18 years or above disapprove of Han running for president next year, according to the survey results released yesterday by the Global Views Survey Research Center.

Additional reporting by Shen Pei-yao

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