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Three Taipei mayor candidates to meet city council caucus
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-23 03:54 PM
NTU Hospital Trauma Director Ko Wen-Je said Tuesday that he has contacted former President Lee Teng-hui to set a date to meet and discuss the Taipei City Mayors race and other matters. Ko noted that two special social phenomena are taking place in Taiwan, the first being the "Ko Wen-je phenomenon," which he says is a bit unusual, and the "social media" phenomenon, a development which he said leaves him feeling rather puzzled.

Ko said that former Vice President Annette Lu invited him to have dinner with her on October 30 and he accepted. Legislator Hsu Tien-tsai has said that he also received a dinner invitation, from Lu for the 30th but then she announced her candidacy for the mayor’s race on the 26th. He said it was not easy to make new arrangements and he did not want to be impolite to the party’s Central Committee, thus he would not attend the dinner.

An aide to Lawyer Wellington Koo said he had also received an invitation from Lu and would attend, but the aide could not confirm the date.

Last Wednesday the Taipei City Council’s DPP caucus invited Koo to meet with them, and Wednesday afternoon they also invited Hsu Tien-tsai. Next Wednesday Annette Lu is invited to meet with the caucus. A caucus member said these three persons have already declared their candidacies and as party members are being invited to talk to the caucus to discuss various ideas. Ko Wen-je is not a party member and thus has not been offered an invitation.

Ko traveled to Keelung Road near the City Council chamber where city council candidate Wang Wei-chung is soliciting votes. Wang is basing his campaign to be the DPP candidate in Taipei’s Songxin District by protesting attempts to enter politics by rich second-generation rich kids and politicos like the son of Lien Chan, Sean Chen, who has announced he intends to run for the mayor’s seat. Ko said he does not necessarily believe that such second-generation hopefuls should be barred from running, saying that the most important thing in becoming a candidate is your platform and what you can offer the people you intend to represent.

Ko delved into the matter of the "Ko Wen-Je phenomenon," saying that it is a recent development that refers to someone who does not act like a politician yet makes a good showing in opinion polls on political matters. Ko said this is a reflection of the fact that many people are not satisfied with the performance of current political figures and says that anyone who has the courage to come out and speak the truth these days is seen as a hero. Actually, said Ko, this is not a normal .occurrence in politics.

Another strange aspect, says Ko, is the effect of social media which means that a candidate who is does not often appear in the media and who does not call on the party elders or grass roots, can still do very well in opinion polls. He said this is something he has yet to figure out.

After Lu declared her candidacy for Taipei mayor, former Executive Yuan spokesman Hu You-wei chided her with the comment, "There are no love seats on the political train,”Ko noted that Hu’s words were harsh but true. It might be more accurate, added Ko, to say "There are no love seats and no VIP seats on the political train."" meaning that everyone is on the same footing.

Hsu Tien-tsai said in running for mayor he was not seeking to become the boss of the family or the boss of the city, but with his management experience he could be CEO of the city. As such he would pursue Taipei’s economic revitalization and a revival of Taiwanese culture, making the city a place where the Western world comes to interact as well as a window on the world for the people of Taiwan.

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