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Mayoral hopeful Ko to decide on DPP membership by March

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Pan-green Taipei mayoral aspirant Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday refuted rumors that he would join the main opposition party before the New Year and noted that the issue would be resolved before March 2014.

Having been bombarded with questions regarding his alliance with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) since announcing his desire to run for mayor of Taipei City, Ko has repeatedly avoided the question of his party affiliation. “I will decide before March next year; this is not something that can be decided in a couple of days,” said Ko yesterday, after stressing that he will not join the DPP before 2013 ends.

“As the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) has not nominated its candidate for Taipei mayor, (my) plans and strategies may change in the future. Why all the rush if the opposition hasn't shown its cards yet?” asked Ko.

Election candidates would need one or two years of preparation for their big day, but the entire society needn't participate in these procedures; all that citizens have to do is wait to see the candidates and then make their choices, Ko stated.

“Therefore, it is unnecessary for the people to be already arguing one year before the elections.”

“If I can decide on the (membership) issue in the course of one or two months, there's no need to rush the decision in two days. Things will work out more smoothly if one takes more time to ponder,” said Ko.

Asked if he had heard more opposing than supportive voices regarding his possible application for DPP membership, Ko replied that the answer was obvious if one looked at the comments of netizens.

“If everyone had the same agenda, the decision would be easy to make. But I need time for this. It is not for me to decide; we still have to see what the other side comes up with,” said Ko. And what did Ko mean by “the other side?”

“The DPP's Taipei mayoral candidate counseling group head Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) — Isn't he in charge of the group?” asked Ko, referring to the DPP's counseling team, which is tasked with scouting out potential candidates to nominate as the party's candidate for the mayoralty.

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