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June 24, 2017

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Ko skips on Taipei mayoral opposition candidate debate

TAIPEI--Independent Taipei mayor aspirant Ko Wen-je chose to skip a Sunday debate among opposition hopefuls, including heavyweights from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying that such "infighting" strikes him as "weird."

An outspoken surgeon who enjoys popularity among DPP supporters despite not being a member of the opposition party, Ko had originally agreed to join the afternoon debate held by the Taiwan Association of University Professors before changing his mind last week.

"If I can avoid (debates), I will," Ko said Sunday morning, explaining that he would prefer not to go up against friendly candidates unless "really necessary."

He added that he had other plans for the afternoon, including a visit with friends to an Yilan County memorial dedicated to late Justice Minister Chen Ding-nan.

There are other ways than debate to present a candidate's platform, he said, such as press interviews.

Sunday's debate was set to go ahead with four DPP hopefuls: Former Vice President Annette Lu, DPP lawmakers Hsu Tain-tsair and Yao Wen-chih, and lawyer Wellington Koo. Writer Neil Peng, an independent friendly to the DPP, was also set to participate.

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