Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that he is unpredictable and therefore difficult to deal with, when responding to speculation about whether he would run for president next year.
Ko made the remark while attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the Chenggong traditional market (成功市場) reconstruction project in Taipei’s Daan District (大安) yesterday morning.
He had been asked to comment on a news report which quoted a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) campaign official as saying that the chance of Ko running is diminishing, so the party should not provoke him and rather focus on strategies to beat the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
“The most difficult part when dealing with Ko Wen-je is that he is too difficult to predict,” the Taipei mayor said. “Never try to predict Ko Wen-je.”
Ko asked who the DPP official quoted in the report was.
Upon hearing that the report did not reveal the official’s identity, he said he often reads news reports quoting people such as “someone close to Ko,” “Ko’s personal aide” or “a city government official,” so he does not take them very seriously.
Asked about poll results suggesting that his approval rating is lower than Han’s, but higher than President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文), and that if he did join the race, one-third of Tsai’s supporters might vote for him, Ko said people should not take poll results too seriously.
Ko said he does not really understand what Han meant at the KMT’s National Congress on Sunday when he said: “The next presidential election will be a battle to decide the life or death of the Republic of China.”
He does not like Han’s suggestion that overseas Taiwanese should write complaint letters to their local government officials about Tsai’s administration, because one should provide clear evidence when trying to accuse others, Ko said.
Asked to comment on the protests in Hong Kong, Ko said: “Mainland China should seriously face the issues in Hong Kong, as it is similar to the situation in Taiwan from 2013 to 2014,” apparently referring to the Sunflower movement.
“I’ve been thinking that only a strong Taiwan can provide resources and protection to Hong Kong, so if Taiwan is too weak, mainland China will not have to succumb when dealing with issues in Hong Kong,” he said.
“The process of democratization in Taiwan over the past 30 years could become an inspiration for China,” he said, adding that when a country’s economic development has reached a certain level, it is hard to maintain a divide between economic development and political development.
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