Taipei Mayor Ko says he is preparing to run for presidency in 2024

09/17/2020 10:34 PM
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Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je/ CNA photo Sept. 17, 2020
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je/ CNA photo Sept. 17, 2020

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he is preparing to run for the presidency in 2024, after being asked by a Taipei city councilor on Thursday.

Alan Lee (李柏毅), who is from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, asked Ko whether he was thinking about running for presidency in 2024 during a Taipei City Council hearing.

In response to the question, Ko said, "I am not thinking (about running for presidency in 2024), I am directly preparing."

Ko then said he thought he would have had a better chance of winning the presidency this year as opposed to 2024, but chose not to run because he had to "take the Taipei Music Center, Taipei Performing Arts Center and Taipei Dome into account."

If he had campaigned for the presidency this year, those projects would be in the toilet, he said.

The constant change in who voters support in Taiwan over the past few years is terrifying, so he will continue to do what needs to be done and go with the flow, Ko added.

When Lee asked whether Ko would support KMT Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) to run for Taipei Mayor, Ko said he could be persuaded to support Chiang if the latter showed he was adequately prepared.

Although Chiang has denied he is planning to run for the position of mayor in 2022, many consider it likely he will be the KMT's candidate.

Ko was also asked at the hearing about who will represent his party, the Taiwan People's Party (TPP), in local elections in 2022, to which he replied that he does not have time to think about such things right now.

The TPP has to pick the best people and they don't necessarily need to be members of the party, he added.

In response to the fact that he scored worst in a poll, released earlier in September, that measured the approval rating of all local government heads in Taiwan, Ko said Taipei is No. 1 in all objective performance indicators.

He only came in last place because the public thinks he is not focusing on the city and is being unfairly accused of being soft on China, Ko said.

(By Chen Yi-hsuan and Chiang Yi-ching)

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