Thu, Jul 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

There is a deadline for presidential bid decision: Mayor Ko

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday poses at the catchment basin of the Feitsui Reservoir in New Taipei City to mark the groundbreaking of a direct pipeline connecting the reservoir and the Jhihtan Water Purification Plant.

Photo: Liao Chen-hui, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that if he plans to run for president, he would announce a bid by early September at the latest, as he would need time to gather the required petitions to run as an independent candidate.

“Sept. 17 is the last day that [the Central Election Commission” accepts petitions” for independent candidates, he said in an interview with an online news outlet.

“We would need to set up petition stations and the process would take more than 10 days, even if we can efficiently collect the petitions. So, frankly, the deadline for such a decision is not Sept. 17, but early September,” he added.

While Ko has not announced his intention to run for president next year, he has been included in various opinion polls, including those used to decide the candidates for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

“Up until now, I have never really wanted to run for president. I am searching for reasons not to enter the race every day,” Ko said.

However, many intellectuals, members of the middle class and people who are not particularly concerned about Taiwanese independence or unification with China are anxious about the choices they have now, he said, apparently referring to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who won the KMT presidential primary.

Asked about a remark by Han in an interview published yesterday about Ko not having “a central belief,” Ko said that just as most physicians hold the central belief of helping patients become healthier, politicians should regard as their central belief the long-term interests of the Taiwanese public.

“Is it possible for the ‘1992 consensus’ with its ‘one China, different interpretations’ component to be a central belief? I do not think so,” Ko said.

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