TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The candidates in the mayoral elections in Taiwan’s two major cities, Taipei and Kaohsiung, faced each other for the first time in televised debates Saturday.
Voters in all of Taiwan will be taking to the polls November 24 to elect city mayors and county magistrates, councilors and neighborhood chiefs, while also having the choice to vote on 10 referendum questions.
The five candidates for mayor of the capital, Taipei City, and the four candidates for mayor of the southern harbor city of Kaohsiung took part in separate debates Saturday.
In Taipei, independent incumbent Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is fighting off a challenge from the main opposition Kuomintang’s Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), and from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Yao Wen-chih (姚文智). Two other independent candidates, National Taiwan University Professor Lee Hsi-kun (李錫錕) and insurance executive Wu E-yang (吳蕚洋), are trailing far behind in the opinion polls but also took part in Saturday’s debate, broadcast by PTS.
Ko ended 16 years of KMT rule in 2014, though at the time he received the support of the DPP, which did not nominate a candidate of its own.
In Kaohsiung, the two main candidates are former lawmakers Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) for the DPP and Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) for the KMT. Two independents, former Taipei City Councilor Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳) and ex-legislator Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴), also featured in the debate on SETN.
Kaohsiung is generally considered as a DPP stronghold, as the party has continuously ruled the city for 20 years.