Wed, Nov 27, 2019 - Page 3 News List

2020 Elections: Ko tells supporters not to spoil votes

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday waves to other participants at a blessing ceremony for a new social housing project in Wenshan District.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that if people do not want to vote in the elections, they should just not vote, rather than casting invalid votes.

His supporters are reportedly urging others to cast an invalid vote in the Jan. 11 presidential election.

Ko, who is also chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), was responding to a comment made by his close aide, former Taipei City Government adviser Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如), in a radio interview on Sunday.

She is listed fifth on the TPP’s legislator-at-large nominees list.

Tsai said that if Ko ran for president, it is estimated that he would have a support rate of about 20 to 25 percent, but so far opinion polls showed that the TPP only has a support rate of about 8 to 10 percent, meaning there is room for improvement.

She said that many people still are not aware that Ko founded the party, so the party would continue to reinforce the image that “Ko equals the TPP” in weeks before the Jan. 11 legislative elections.

Many of Ko’s supporters have told her that they do not know who to vote for in the presidential election, so some people are initiating a “spoilt votes movement,” urging others to write “Ko Wen-je” on the ballot and cast invalid votes.

When asked by the radio host if she supports the movement, Tsai said she should not encourage people to cast invalid votes, but the number of invalid votes could represent how many people are dissatisfied with their options or reveal the number of hidden Ko supporters, which could be a reference for predicting the outcome of the 2024 election.

Asked for a comment yesterday, Ko said: “I do not think it is necessary, just keep a calm attitude and keep the election clean.”

“Do not go and vote if you do not want to vote, but do not destroy the ballot, and just keep the election clean,” he said, adding that the 2024 election in not yet a concern.

Public opinion in Taiwan often swings from one side to the other, Ko said, adding that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a major defeat in the nine-in-one elections last year, but has reversed the situation now.

He thinks keeping his base voters is good enough, Ko said.

Asked whether the situation in Hong Kong might affect young voters’ willingness to vote in the elections, Ko said he thinks it would, and that the problems in Hong Kong have become a chronic disease that the Beijing government should think practically about.

He was also asked to comment on a remark by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could not manipulate the Hong Kong district council elections, so it is unlikely to meddle in Taiwan’s elections.

Ko said that the CPP failed in controlling the Hong Kong elections this time, but that does not mean it is incapable of doing so.

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