TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Lo Chih-chiang, a close ally of former President Ma Ying-jeou, said Saturday he was embarking on a three-stage strategy to run for mayor of Taipei City in 2018.
Incumbent Mayor Ko Wen-je only reaches the midpoint of his first four-year term on Sunday, but speculation has been mounting about his future due to recently sliding opinion poll performances.
In an interview published Friday, Ko said he was considering another term, while the opposition Kuomintang presented a poll showing that 50 percent of the capital’s citizens did not want him re-elected.
Lo, a former deputy secretary-general at the Presidential Office during Ma’s rule, said he would run for mayor if he succeeded in winning 1 million followers on his Facebook page by the end of 2017.
He labeled the effort as “one man’s primary” and named as the first of three stages in his strategy.
The second stage would be to join the KMT primary, but if he did not turn out to be the party’s strongest candidate, Lo said he would fully support whoever else it may be.
The third phase would be to seek what he termed “the three returns,” seeking back construction and other projects for Taipei, the return of what he called Taiwan’s right direction, and the return of lost peace with China.
Lo, 46, the son of a Keelung dockworker, resigned from the Presidential Office in 2013 amid allegations against him over Ma’s power struggle with then-Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. He was later also accused of having met the owners of Ting Hsin International, the group embroiled in numerous food safety scandals, but he denied any improprieties.