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Advertisement attacks 'good doctor' Ko and 'rich boy' Lien

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Pan-green Taipei Mayor hopeful Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday that the opposition camps' candidate integration process should not be twisted into a free-for-all.

The National Taiwan University Hospital physician made the remarks in response to a full-page advertisement in yesterday's paper that portrayed Ko and Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Sean Lien in a negative light.

“What is going on currently is an 'integration,' instead of a killing spree ... I will not be publishing any slander or provocative advertisement because of this,” said Ko.

The ad was placed on the front page of yesterday's United Evening News, showing only the Chinese phrase “The pillars fall after the building snaps.” Taken from ancient Chinese commentary Zuo Zhuan (左傳), the phrase refers to corruption among politicians.

National Taiwan University economics professor Lin Hsiang-kai (林向愷), who sponsored the advertisement, went on to question whether people would “allow others to practice their tailoring skills on a quality piece of fabric? Should an important position like the capital's mayor be regarded as a practice session (for some candidates)?”

The ad then went on to address the incompetence of both Ko and Lien. According to Lin, Ko was a “good doctor” who could not elaborate on the topic of the Tamsui River in his previous debate with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Yao Wen-chih (姚文智), while “rich boy” Lien had the audacity to announce plans to move the Shing Shen Highway Pass underground. “Should we show them such generosity, allowing them to practice as the mayor of Taipei?” Lin demanded in his ad.

Many media outlets immediately reported that Lin's words were directed at Lien and Ko.

Ko Clarifies

Ko refuted Lin's hints, saying that he had not commented on the Tamsui River because the time limit was up before he could issue a complete response. “The debate was only one hour long, I was unable to finish my statement. I cannot claim that I have full marks already, but at least I am preparing hard and there are five months left ... I will do my best to keep up the preparation and win the people's trust with my team and my political opinions,” said Ko.

The pan-green camps — DPP included — will be holding a second-stage public survey that will ultimately decide the pan-green candidate on June 12; the candidate will be running against the KMT's Lien in the November elections.

Another independent candidate is writer Neil Peng (馮光遠), who will be included in the survey as well.

“The power of a country lies in every single one of its people; the people have to have the capability to analyze and judge things ... elections should be kept positive as our citizens' standards have been on the rise. I am prone to some off-the-mark statements now and then but I do my best to correct them at top speed,” Ko concluded.

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