The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday denied it had decided to support National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) bid in the Taipei mayoral election as an independent in November and that it would not nominate its own candidate.
Storm Media, an online news Web site, reported yesterday that the DPP had decided it would not nominate its own candidate in the Taipei election to boost Ko’s chance of winning after the aspirant’s meeting with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) during the Lunar New Year holidays.
The media outlet also reported that the now-defunct New Tide faction, one of the most powerful factions in the party, has switched its allegiance to Ko and dropped its support of lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄), one of five DPP aspirants.
Former DPP lawmakers Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠), both New Tide members, had accompanied Ko on a visit to a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) heavyweight on Jan. 28 for talks on inter-party support, according to the report.
DPP spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) denied that Su had met Ko during the holidays. Cheng denied that he had accompanied Ko on the reported visit and said former New Tide members had not thrown their support behind any aspirant in the Taipei mayoral election.
Ko said on the sidelines of the Taipei International Book Exhibition yesterday that his itinerary was “confidential” and he would not share it with the public, and that the reported endorsement by the New Tide faction “is also something that I would keep to myself.”
Ko, whose support rating is ahead of that of Koo and the other DPP aspirants — former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Taipei City Council Deputy Speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) and DPP lawmakers Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and Pasuya Yao (姚文智) — has been campaigning hard to run as a “pan-green candidate” without having to obtain DPP membership, a proposal that most DPP aspirants oppose.
After previously stressing his preference for “letting the nomination process run its course,” Ko appeared to have changed his position yesterday, saying that settling the nomination by the end of next month would be a better idea so that “current disputes over the issue would not go on forever.”
In response to the report, Koo said he was not aware of the reported decision and that he did not sense the loss of the New Tide faction’s support.
“What the DPP must do is lay out the rules of the game as soon as possible so that anxiety among DPP aspirants like me can be relieved,” Koo said yesterday, adding that his support rating has surpassed Lu’s and made him the leader among the five DPP aspirants.
Koo said he hoped the DPP could finalize the primary format at a Central Executive Committee meeting on Feb. 15.
He said he would accept either format for the primary if it was formally adopted by the DPP, referring to the so-called “one-phase” and “two-phase” formats, with the former including Ko in the party’s public opinion poll and the latter matching the winner of five DPP aspirants with Ko for a second poll to determine the final candidate.
However, Ko is likely not to be the only independent in the running, as award-winning writer Neil Peng (馮光遠) is also likely to enter the race, Koo said.
“If the DPP includes Ko in the public opinion poll, how would the party deal with Peng?” Koo asked.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that the most important task for the DPP would be “breaking the KMT’s monopoly on the Taipei mayorship,” which is why garnering maximum momentum among the opposition is crucial.
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
Peggy Chen (陳佩琪), wife of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), yesterday said that the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) claim that Taiwan had warned the WHO about possible human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was “far-fetched.” The US on April 9 said that the WHO had put politics first and ignored Taiwan’s early warning in December last year, which the WHO denied the following day. The WHO said that it received an e-mail from Taiwanese authorities on Dec. 31 last year, but that “there was no mention in the message of human-to-human transmission.” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC,
The Taipei City Government yesterday promised to improve its Taipei Card 3.0 application process after a city councilor said that it required applicants to provide irrelevant personal information. Taipei City Councilor Miao Po-ya (苗博雅) said that to activate the card — which can function as an EasyCard, Senior EasyCard, student card and library card, as well as provide discounts for restaurants, arts and entertainment in the city — people must provide personal information such as their passport number, occupation, education level, their spouse’s name, personal income, credit rating and health information. The city government said the system would help it digitalize and