DPP lawmaker pushes coalition opposition plan

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Dec 31, 2013 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) yesterday outlined a plan for an opposition coalition to settle on a Taipei mayoral candidate, adding that he did not rule out entering the race himself if the process was agreed upon.

“Our priority [in the Taipei mayoral election] should be bringing an end to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s [KMT] grip on the capital, rather than narrowly aiming for a DPP victory,” Yao said.

Yao has proposed that the DPP poll its members in the first phase, with the winner meeting independents and other party hopefuls in the second phase to determine the final candidate.

Currently there are four DPP aspirants: former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄), lawmaker Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and Taipei City Council deputy speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅), as well as one independent, National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) — whose support rate has been better than DPP aspirants by a considerable margin.

Ko, who is believed to prefer to run as an independent, has been mulling joining the DPP after DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) made it clear that the DPP would nominate its own candidate in the election. However, Ko said a three-way race with two opposition candidates is doomed to fail.

Yao denied his proposal was “a strategy to help Ko resolve his dilemma,” saying it would maximize support and pool together the resources of an opposition coalition.

The independent has said he is to finalize his decision about joining the DPP by March next year.

Yao said the DPP should seriously look at the fact that strong DPP nominees — including former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) — eventually lost to their KMT rivals in Taipei, making the chance of unseating the party in this stronghold without opposition collaboration slim.

The lawmaker, who is close to Frank Hsieh, said Hsieh was not consulted, and the initiative represented his own personal views.

Lu responded that the DPP “should not change the rules of the game every day” and that since there are many candidates from within the party, it would be unnecessary to recruit an independent.