Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) plans to nominate at least 34 candidates for legislator-at-large seats in the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections.
While Ko has yet to confirm whether he would run for president, he has said that one of the party’s goals is to win several legislative seats.
Following the TPP’s formal establishment on Tuesday and his election as chairman, Ko said in a radio interview later in the day that the party would nominate the maximum number of candidates for 34 legislator-at-large seats, because they should have “the determination to fight across the world (征戰天下).”
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Asked by reporters to elaborate on his plans, Ko yesterday said that he did not want to repeat the New Power Party’s (NPP) strategic mistake in the 2016 legislative elections, when it only nominated six candidates for legislators-at-large.
Although the NPP had a high approval rating of more than 10 percent before the elections, many of its supporters thought that if it received more than the needed number of votes for six seats, the excess votes would be wasted, so some turned to vote for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates, Ko said.
He added that he also has to think of the gender equality requirement for legislators-at-large and the risks of a nominee dropping out.
The NPP caucus is facing the risk of being dissolved, as it requires three party members to form a caucus, Ko said.
He was referring to the NPP’s suspension last month of Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal amid allegations of influence peddling and abuse of power.
Asked if he aims to replace the NPP in the Legislative Yuan with his party’s members, Ko said the TPP is still searching for suitable nominees, but it can only recruit new members after it receives the Ministry of the Interior’s official approval.
Winning legislative seats from constituency votes will be more difficult for the TPP, so it will focus on securing legislator-at-large seats next year, he said.
Nominees who fail to secure a seat next year can serve as assistants or office director for those who do, which should help train them for future posts, he said in the interview.
Asked if he is worried that the TPP might attract unwanted members from other parties because it allows dual-party membership, Ko said that he hopes to transcend the pan-blue and pan-green camps with this strategy, so people of either camps can exist harmoniously in society.
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