TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vowing to provide the Taiwanese electorate with an alternative to the two major political parties on the island, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) announced on Sunday (Sept. 22) the first round of legislative nominees for his newly formed Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).
The party held a rally on Sunday to announce eight legislative TPP nominees for Taipei City, New Taipei City, Miaoli County, Kaohsiung City, and Taichung City. Established in early August, the TPP has the ambition of gaining representation in the Legislative Yuan next year.
Criticizing the political wrestling between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Kuomintang (KMT) during the presidential election, Ko claimed the TPP could become a third choice and new hope for Taiwanese voters. He called on the electorate to vote for his party and the party’s legislative nominees in the upcoming legislative elections.
The mayor did not sign up for a presidential petition, a requirement for an independent or non-majority party candidate who wishes to enter the race, despite his last-minute appearance at the election agency, where his parents and supporters awaited him. Ko said he still means to fulfill his commitment to the citizens of Taipei even though his decision “might have disappointed many people.”
Ko had originally planned to collaborate with Foxconn founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), who was widely believed to be preparing to run for president as an independent after having lost the KMT primary, but he only found frustration, as Gou pulled out of the plan at the very last moment. Ko has hinted that this collaboration remains possible but refrained from commenting further.
The legislative nominees announced last Sunday include independent Taipei city Councilor Xu Li-xin (徐立信), Jakarta-born new immigrant Kimyung Keng (何景榮), Taipei City Government employee Amy Tsai (蔡宜芳), and Zhang Xing-song (張幸松) for Taipei’s four constituencies. In addition, the party has nominated Chu Che-cheng (朱哲成), Wu Ta-wei (吳達偉), Chang Jui-tsang (張睿倉), and Lee Chia-ling (李佳玲) for Miaoli County, New Taipei City, Taichung City, and Kaohsiung City, respectively.