Tue, Jul 16, 2019 - Page 3 News List

2020 ELECTION: Ko to seriously mull whether to run for president next year

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je speaks to reporters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that he would listen first to what other presidential aspirants have to say, but would also start thinking seriously about his next step.

Ko made the comments after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday morning announced that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has won its presidential primary.

An independent who is widely believed to be eyeing the nation’s top office, Ko has frequently been asked when he would make a decision to run or whether he would team up with a political party.

Last week, he said that he still has time to ponder over the issue, as the last day for presidential candidate registration is on Sept 17. The election is to be held on Jan. 11 next year.

Asked whether Han’s victory would affect his decision to run for president, Ko said: “I have not really thought about it, but now I will have to seriously think about it.”

He said his background as an emergency room surgeon has taught him that he must first check a patient’s condition, before deciding on the proper surgical procedure, so he would answer the question when he has finished thinking about it.

For starters, he wanted to hear first what other KMT presidential aspirants have to say about the primary results, then decide how to respond to the situation, Ko said.

“Taiwan’s general interest, the people’s maximum well-being, the long-term development of Taiwan ... we have to start thinking about these as events occur,” he said.

“As rational human beings, we can make rational predictions, so people have to starting thinking about what would happen if President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) continues as president or if they choose Han,” Ko said, adding that people have to think about whether the information the candidates provide is reasonable.

“I have never held a parochial point of view,” Ko said. “Politics should be a pragmatic part of people’s everyday lives; politics must be executable. Chanting slogans is useless, because ideas must be executable.”

“The problem with Taiwan now is we have too many slogans, but are lacking in procedures to execute them,” he said.

When people keep on talking about sovereignty and national consciousness, but government efficiency in implementing the budget is only 66 percent, then the policy plans are all a sham, because they cannot be executed, he added.

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