Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that he is not criticizing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to gain votes for his Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) in the Jan. 11 elections, but because he believes there is a standard for what is right.
The existence of “third force” parties means that the two major parties are not doing a good job, added Ko, who is also the founder and chairman of the TPP.
He made the remarks in response to media queries about why he often criticizes Presidential Office Secretary-General and former Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the DPP, and whether criticizing the pan-blue and pan-green camps is part of his election strategy.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
On Friday, Ko said that one of the reasons Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, “escaped” from Kaohsiung to run for president was because of the high public debt left by Chen’s administration.
Han on Sunday said that Kaohsiung has the most difficult financial situation in Taiwan, so he is grateful to Ko for always speaking up for him.
Ko yesterday said that Chen should explain how the debt was created and how it affects the city’s administration.
DPP Legislator Chung Kung-chao (鍾孔炤), a former Kaohsiung Labor Affairs Bureau director, on Sunday posted two charts on Facebook explaining how Chen was forced to self-finance several infrastructure development projects, as the then-KMT-led central government did not provide enough funding.
He wrote that Chen repaid more debt than the debt created during her term as mayor, so the high debt was caused by the then-KMT-led central government failing to keep its funding promises.
The city government led by Han has increased public debt by NT$6.4 billion (US$211.5 million) this year, he added.
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