Taipei Mayor Ko says Han's run for president 'really frightening'

Taipei Mayor Ko says Han Kuo-yu's presidential bid is 'unfair to citizens of Kaohsiung'


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In an exclusive interview with UDN, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) described itinerant Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) run for presidency to be "frightening" and "not fair to the citizens of Kaohsiung."

In the interview, Ko said that Han's run for the presidency was "frightening," and just thinking about it keeps him up at night. "The frightening thing about Han Kuo-yu is unspeakable, it scares me just thinking about it," said Ko.

After consulting with national security experts, Ko said he was shocked about the complexity involved in running the country. Therefore, he is perplexed about where Han gets his confidence that he could pull it off.

As for Han's prediction that he definitely will be elected president, Ko believes, "He thinks he understands, but does not fully grasp the full picture." He said Han is considering his own interests in running for president.

"If I do not run, his [Han's] moral legitimacy will collapse. He also hopes if I run, I will steal away votes from Little Tsai [President Tsai Ing-wen]." However, he said that Han has not let go of his ego.

He said that Han has never met a person who does not take success or failure seriously, such as himself (Ko). Ko said that this was Han's miscalculation.

Ko asked that in the more than 100 years of Taiwan's history, "When was there ever a president elected after only serving for a mayor for one month?" Ko said that this is "very unfair to the citizens of Kaohsiung, so there is no municipal administration in Kaohsiung up to now."

Ko emphasized that once he began serving as mayor, it became very clear to him that "governance is grounded in the lives of the people." "Politics takes patience, its not that simple," said Ko.

The Taipei mayor said that there are only 24 hours in a day, yet Han had barely been in office for one month as mayor and was already gearing up for the presidential race. "Please! I'm in good health, I feel really tired after riding the [520 km] Taiwan Twin Towers route in one day. No wonder he [Han] doesn't come into work until noon!"

Ko questioned how Han could campaign all night and then somehow go into work as mayor the next morning. For example, one day he has to campaign in Yilan and the next day he has to go to a 7:30 a.m. meeting back in Kaohsiung, "he really needs strong willpower."

He also said it was comical to watch Han pile up a stack of official documents during a live broadcast. Ko said that Taipei switched to digital documents long ago.

"He complains if too many red folders keep piling into the mayor's office. Why is the digitization of documents so slow? Nobody is comparing the official documents, it is really ridiculous," said Ko.