Ko to meet with DPP chairman

STILL UNSURE::The independent reportedly remains undecided on whether to join the DPP due to its two-year membership threshold for election candidates

By Chen Ching-min and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff Writer

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will only consider naming party members as its candidates in local elections, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said yesterday, one day before National Taiwan University physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is to meet with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to discuss the possibility of joining the party.

Ko, an independent hoping to run in the DPP’s Taipei mayoral primary who has been leading all DPP aspirants in recent opinion surveys, remains undecided on whether to join the party due to its two-year membership threshold for election candidates.

Under the DPP’s primary regulations, only members who have been in the party for more than two years are eligible to run as a DPP nominee.

However, candidates in the local elections next year are exempt from the limitation as the party authorized its chairman to recruit any party member as nominee.

There have been speculations that the DPP would make Ko a parachute candidate in the Taipei mayoral election next year to increase the party’s chance of winning in the traditionally pan-blue stronghold, but other aspirants have expressed either opposition to or reservations about the idea.

“The DPP welcomes Ko’s visit and is willing to exchange opinions and ideas with him on matters that he is unclear about. We believe such a meeting would be ‘positive,’” Lin said.

Citing the primary regulations, Lin said the party would only nominate parachute candidates for some of the mayoral and county commissioner elections and that such candidate must be a DPP member.

“All the candidates must be nominated in accordance with the party’s primary mechanism and no one, not even the party chairman, can violate or ignore the regulations,” Lin said, adding that parachute candidates were exempt from the two-year membership requirement.

In related developments, a public poll released yesterday by the Chinese-language Apple Daily newspaper showed that the majority — 35.65 percent — of the Taipei residents polled would vote for Ko if the mayoral election were held tomorrow.

Only 23.77 percent of respondents said they would vote for former Taipei Easycard Corp president Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman and vice president Lien Chan (連戰).

As for other DPP aspirant Taipei mayoral candidates, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) garnered a support rate of 15.54 percent, followed by lawyer Wellington Koo’s (顧立雄) 8.04 percent and DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair’s (許添財) 4.75 percent.

The poll was conducted between Wednesday and Friday among 1,101 Taipei residents aged 20 and above.