2018 ELECTIONS: Taipei police on edge as Ko, Yao hold close rallies

By Yao Yueh-hung and Chien Hui-ju  /  Staff reporters

Fri, Nov 23, 2018 - Page 3

The Taipei Police Department yesterday said it was on edge over two large rallies scheduled for tonight by the campaigns of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and that of his Democratic Progressive Party rival, Pasuya Yao (姚文智), which would be less than 400m apart.

Ko is to hold his campaign rally at the Four Four South Village in Xinyi District (信義), while Yao is to stage a rally at the Taipei City Hall Plaza on Shifu Road.

While concerned over the proximity of the two events and possible disorderly activity, police said they have made adequate preparations, including traffic control.

For Ko’s event, all lanes on Xinyi Road leading to the section between Zhuangjing Road and Songzhi Road are to be closed from 10pm today until 6am on Sunday, as well as all lanes east of Zhuangjing Road, police said.

No vehicles are to be allowed along Songqin Street or in the area between Songqin and Xinyi Road Sec 5, Lane 14 during the period, they said.

As for Yao’s event, all lanes on Shifu Road in the section between Songgao Road and Songshou Road would be closed for vehicles between midnight today and 5am tomorrow, as would be all lanes on Renai Road leading to the area, they said.

Northbound or southbound motorists are advised to take Guangfu S Road, Keelung Road, Songzhi Road or Songren Road, while those heading east or west are advised to take Zhongxiao E Road, Songgao Road or Songshou Road, they said.

Extempore traffic control measures might be enforced depending on the length of the events and the turnout, they added.

The choice of Four Four South Village as the venue for the final campaign rally for Ko on election eve is symbolic of “four years of hard work” and “four more years,” Ko’s campaign team said, adding that a number of singers have been billed to perform at the event.

Yao’s campaign team said it has set a goal of gathering 100,000 supporters to send Yao into the mayor’s office.

Meanwhile, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) is to hold his final campaign rally — called “Vote to save Taiwan” — on Ketagalan Boulevard from 6:30pm today.

The event would take on a sentimental undertone as Ting calls on Taipei residents to vote for him, his campaign office said.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) are scheduled to make an appearance at the event to drum up support for Ting, it said.

Additional reporting by CNA