The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday called for an interparty collaboration to nominate an independent candidate for the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election, to recreate the largely apolitical victory of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in 2014.
In a morning interview with radio host Clara Chou (周玉蔻), TPP Legislator Tsai Pi-ru (蔡壁如) said she believed that parties could work together, but their nominee must be independent and local.
Although some saw Tsai moving her household registration to Kaohsiung in March as evidence that she might run in the by-
Photo: Chen Yun, Taipei Times
election, she said that she had made the change because of the TPP’s efforts to increase contact with locals and for family reasons.
Former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to leave office today following Saturday’s successful recall vote.
The TPP dropped its plans to nominate a candidate, given the limited time frame to find a suitable choice before the by-election, she said.
Photo: Wu Shu-wei, Taipei Times
Under Article 91 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), the by-election must be held by Sept. 12.
Tsai said that the TPP could recreate the atmosphere that lead to the 2014 Taipei mayoral election, but parties must work together and set aside their differences.
Ko ran as an independent with the backing of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Tsai declined to comment when Chou asked whether the proposal was “a plan to eradicate the KMT.”
The proposal could provide an alternative to Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), Tsai said.
Chen in 2018 ran against Han and is seen as a possible DPP nominee for the by-election.
Tsai said that the chances of the KMT agreeing to the proposal are slim, but they must make the effort to prevent one-party rule.
Asked whether having the TPP collaborate with KMT Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) would be seen as working with the deep blue pro-China faction, Tsai said that people should not put labels on others.
“The deep blue faction is not likely to work with us, but if they do, he [Lo] would, of necessity, have to adjust some of his views,” Tsai said.
Meanwhile, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) yesterday said at a Federation of Overseas Chinese Association event that the party is still looking for potential candidates, some of whom it has approached, and would keep an open mind when considering possible choices, without directly commenting on them or a potential TPP-KMT collaboration.
At the party’s Central Standing Committee meeting in Kaohsiung on Wednesday, Chiang said that the party had failed to foster talent in the area.
Focusing on northern Taiwan has led the KMT to overlook Kaohsiung and the resource distribution gap following the 2010 merger of Kaohsiung city and county, he said.
Han’s 2018 victory had changed Kaohsiung residents’ perception of the KMT and upset the political balance in the region, Chiang said.
“The recall results is a reminder that we should not take the open-mindedness of the people of Kaohsiung for granted,” he added.
Additional reporting by Ko You-hao
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