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Ko 'very likely' to run as non-party candidate: staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- There is a 90-percent possibility that Taipei mayor hopeful Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) will participate in the election as a non-party candidate, a personal staffer for Ko said yesterday after rumors surfaced that Ko revealed his intentions at a private meeting.

It was reported that Ko revealed his decision to participate in the mayoral election as a non-party candidate to former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) when Ko visited Lee to ask for advice. According to the report, Lee passed Ko's decision on to other Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members who also intend to run for Taipei mayor a few days after he talked to Ko.

In response, Ko's personal staff said no one knows about the reported decision, since there were no other people in the meeting between Ko and Lee. In addition, Ko did not mention anything related to this issue to anyone. However, the staffer pointed out that it is very likely that Ko does intend to participate in the mayoral election as a non-party candidate.

Besides Ko, there is one other political amateur interested in the upcoming mayoral election. Feng Guang-yuan (馮光遠), a famous journalist as well as writer, announced that he will run for Taipei City Mayor yesterday morning.

Responding to Feng's announcement, Ko said his candidacy may bring about positive effects to society and he will not worry about whether his votes will be split by Feng.

“It is important to see what effect an election can bring to society. We are living in a democratic society, so we should let different voices be heard. The different voices may bring some effects and change our society. This is how democracy works,” said Ko.

It is thought that Feng's participation will make the mayoral race more complicated, especially as Feng's participation may directly affect Ko's votes.

Feng's Decision

Feng said that he did not make the decision to run for Taipei mayor suddenly. Instead, he had been making efforts to fulfill this aspiration over the past two years.

“There should be someone who really comes from the local population participating in the Taipei mayoral election; this person will really know what Taipei City needs,” said Feng yesterday.

Feng also encouraged younger people to run for village chief and local administration positions. Feng discussed the civil rights movements in Taiwan last year, saying that he believes that this year will be the year for citizens to actually participate in political issues.

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