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Taiwan People's Party chair under fire for 'anti-democratic' comments

Ko Wen-je says if only university attendees could vote, he would have won election

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Ko Wen-je speaks to the media in Taipei on Wednesday. (CNA photo)

Ko Wen-je speaks to the media in Taipei on Wednesday. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Failed presidential candidate and leader of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has come under fire from opposition politicians for what has been described as discriminatory and anti-democratic comments.

On Saturday (Feb. 3), Ko said that if only those who had been to university had the right to vote, he would have won the election, per CNA. Ko said the TPP is an elite party, and that it is similar to Singapore’s People’s Action Party in this way.

On Sunday, both Kuomintang (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators criticized Ko’s comments, calling them discriminatory. KMT lawmaker Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) said not everyone in Taiwan has the means to attend university, and that Ko’s comments are not in line with democratic norms.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Lin Chu-yin (林楚茵) said Ko had repeatedly made discriminatory comments based on academic background. Lin noted that Ko previously said students of some academic departments have no value, and that he said those who did not finish high school are “99 times more likely to take drugs” than those who graduated.

“At every moment (Ko) is demonstrating the meaning of discrimination,” Lin said.