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Taipei mayor calls presidential debate ‘miserable’

Presidential hopefuls stopped short of providing constructive solutions to running country: Ko Wen-je

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (center).

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (center). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) lamented over the presidential debate held on Sunday (Dec. 29), describing it as “miserable” and full of trash talk and finger-pointing.

Ko, who is the founder and chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), made the remark the day of the debate while rallying support for his party’s legislative candidates in Kaohsiung, reported CNA.

The surgeon-turned-politician, who earlier this year was considered a presidential hopeful and who is widely believed to be planning a bid in 2024, lambasted the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for seeking to run a country through borrowing and spending at an unsustainable pace. “It’s execution, stupid!” Ko said, adding that what really matters is implementing plausible plans rather than dishing out empty promises.

Taiwan has experienced three transfers of power since 2000, with the DPP and its main opposition the Kuomintang (KMT) party each taking their turn to command a majority in the parliament. However, the two major parties have failed to deliver on their pledges, and their administrations have been marred by corruption and divisive ideologies, UDN quoted Ko as saying.

Ko argued against a wrestling match between pro- and anti- Beijing stances for Taiwan, confronted with a rising Communist China. The island country should stand up to current challenges while learning about the merits of its rivals with a pragmatic approach as Japan did during the Meiji Restoration, Ko reckoned.