Taipei Mayor Ko eying 2024 presidential run if health permits - Focus Taiwan

Taipei Mayor Ko eying 2024 presidential run if health permits

Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Wednesday that if his health permits, he will run for president in 2024, and he will start preparing to do so when he completes his second and final term as mayor.

In an interview on a television news channel, Ko said that as mayor of Taipei, he still has a lot of work to complete.

On the question of why he decided not to run for president in 2020 even after establishing the Taiwan People's Party (TPP), he said the party needs to first build a presence in the Legislature.

"How would one function (as president) with zero seats in the Legislature?" he said.

Ko, who was elected chairman of the TPP in August, has said the first goal of his party is to secure legislative seats in the January 2020 elections.

Asked in Wednesday's interview whether he would run in the 2024 presidential election, he said "if everything goes well next time."

"If there are no accidents, I'll enter the race," Ko said, explaining that means if his health permits.

He said he will be better able to concentrate on a presidential bid after he completes his second and final four-year term as Taipei mayor in 2022.

However, if the TPP secures no more than two seats in the January 2020 elections, Ko said, it will be a tough task for him to win the presidency in 2024.

The TPP party must win at least eight seats in January to make his presidential run viable, he said.

Meanwhile, Ko said, New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) is likely to emerge as the Kuomintang (KMT) candidate in the 2024 presidential election.

"If he could do a better job than us, then it's okay to let him do it."

(By Liang Pei-chi, Kuang Jui-ping and Evelyn Kao)

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