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Ko pledges open government after winning Taipei mayoral election

2014/11/29 21:23:51


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Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) Taipei's mayor-elect Ko Wen-je pledged Saturday to fulfill his campaign promise of open government, saying political parties and politicians should "face civil society with a more humble attitude."

In his victory speech, Ko repeated his idea of "open government and participation by all people" while attributing his win to the city of Taipei's "determination to pursue progress."

He thanked his voters for believing that "politics is about finding our conscience" and for believing that "the wisdom of the multitude is better than that of an individual."

Under his leadership, the city government will set up a "committee of public participation," Ko said. He also reiterated that civil servants working for the city government will not have to serve any political parties.

In a blow to the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), Ko became the capital city's first non-KMT mayor in 16 years in Saturday's mayoral election.

With 30 of Taipei's 1,534 polling stations still to report their vote counts, Ko had won some 57 percent of the votes, compared with 41 percent won by his KMT opponent Sean Lien, according to the Central Election Commission.

In a brief concession speech, Lien, son of former Vice President Lien Chan, congratulated Ko for winning the election and bowed and apologized to his supporters for "not having worked hard enough" to win the election.

Ko, 55, had campaigned on a promise to change the poisoned atmosphere of partisan politics even though his candidacy was endorsed by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Dubbed "Ko P," meaning "Professor Ko," by his students at National Taiwan University Medical College, the heart surgeon had never played any role in politics until earlier this year.

In late December, he will become Taipei's first non-KMT mayor since 1998, when the DPP's Chen Shui-bian failed to win re-election.

Ko, Lien and five other candidates were competing to replace Hau Lung-bin, who will step down in December after serving a maximum two four-year terms.

(By Jay Chen; click here for a list of results of this year's local elections)
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