Wed, Jul 17, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ko to weigh candidates’ promises

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

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

Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said he is waiting to see whether the presidential candidates from the nation’s two major parties can persuade him that Taiwan would be better under their leadership.

He made the remark when asked to comment on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) choosing their presidential candidates for next year’s election.

Ko, an independent, has said he would decide next month whether he would run for president.

The KMT on Monday declared Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) the winner of its presidential primary and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) won the DPP’s primary last month.

“Taiwanese have to think about why Taiwan has become the way it is today,” Ko said. “The problem does not always have to be solved by ourselves — but on the premise that Tsai and Han are the presidential candidates, could there be any other solution?”

Citing Lao Tzu’s (老子) Taoist classic the Tao Te Ching (道德經) about letting things follow their own course without taking possession of them or taking credit for success, Ko said: “I do not necessarily have to do it myself and I do not have a rigid idea right now, but Taiwanese should think why we are faced with the current situation.”

He said the situation in Taiwan is similar to the late Ming and early Qing dynasties.

“The whole nation is in a state of disorder, roving bandits are rising from all directions, but the imperial court has no ability to put them down,” Ko said.

Germans elected Adolf Hitler as their leader and gave up their rights, because they felt desperate about the situation at the time, he added.

Ko said he once believed that Tsai could solve Taiwan’s problems, but he is now waiting to see if Tsai or Han can persuade people to believe that Taiwan will become better under their leadership.

When asked if he might face difficulty implementing policies if he were elected as an independent president with no lawmakers on his side, Ko said that at first it was difficult for him to serve as mayor without a political team and the backing of a political party.

“The process was as difficult and painful as a snake shedding its skin,” he said.

That is another reason why he has kept debating whether he should run for president, Ko said.

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