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Taiwan’s KMT names think tank chief to run for Kaohsiung mayor

Ko Chih-en will face DPP incumbent Chen Chi-mai in Nov. 26 election

Ko Chih-en is the KMT candidate for mayor of Kaohsiung. (Facebook, Ko Chih-en photo) 

Ko Chih-en is the KMT candidate for mayor of Kaohsiung. (Facebook, Ko Chih-en photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Kuomintang (KMT) on Wednesday (June 29) named Ko Chih-en (柯志恩), the chairwoman of its think tank, to run for mayor of Kaohsiung City in the Nov. 26 election.

She will challenge incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) in what is generally regarded as a stronghold of the ruling camp. Chen lost the 2018 mayoral election against KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), but the latter quickly saw his popularity evaporate after making extravagant promises and losing the 2020 presidential election.

In June 2020, Han was recalled, with Chen winning the mayoral race in Aug. of the same year.

Ko, 60, is the daughter of a Pingtung County commissioner, and studied education at National Chengchi University and in the United States. After serving one term in the Legislative Yuan from 2016 to 2020, the KMT appointed her executive director of the National Policy Foundation, its main think tank.

Reacting to the KMT announcement, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) said it had not decided yet whether to name a candidate of its own for the Kaohsiung mayoral race, while not excluding the possibility of forming an opposition alliance with Ko, CNA reported.

At the same meeting Wednesday, the KMT also named Hsieh Fu-hung (謝福弘), a former local government agriculture official, as its candidate for Miaoli County commissioner.