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May 26, 2017

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Pan-green mayoral hopefuls lash out at one another

As the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is set to finish the first stage of public surveys for its Taipei Mayoral candidate next Thursday, mayoral aspirants have been heard wrangling over their approval ratings.

The main opposition party's Central Executive Committee announced the news last weekend.

The DPP has slated to conduct a survey for mayoral hopefuls with DPP membership on May 7; the potential two-day public survey will be carried out either during May 8-9 or May 12-13.

According to unnamed DPP members, intraparty surveys have shown lawyer Wellington Ku (顧立雄) leading in approval ratings with Legislator Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) coming in second, almost tying with former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Both Ku and Yao expressed confidence that they would come out first in the surveys.

The surveys are divided into two parts, one including non-party-member Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and the other without; a third survey will be carried out comparing pan-green aspirants to Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Sean Lien (連勝文).

Ko, a National Taiwan University Hospital physician, emerged as frontrunner in the survey that included himself as a candidate and had Yao coming first among DPP members. In the survey without Ko, the lawyer was preferred over Yao.

Yao declared recently that his mayoral bid was meant for real, also saying yesterday that he had scored higher than certain others in the public surveys.

Ko had expressed a wish to run for Taipei Mayor long ago, but dragged out the issue of whether or not he would run as a DPP representative — joining the party just before the primaries — or run as an individual.

All pan-green aspirants lost when compared to Lien, who scored a 40 percent rating; Ko still came in first among the greens while Ku scored above fellow party members Yao and Lu.

Two Against One

In an interview yesterday, Ko expressed disagreement with questions aimed at the obvious drop in his approval ratings compared to the extremely high scores he achieved when he first expressed a desire to run for mayor. Ko said he wished to see the evidence of such claims, a remark interpreted to be lashing out at Ku, who had stated previously that the doctor's ratings dropped.

Yao, too, seemed to be targeting Ku as an opponent. Holding a press conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, the lawmaker had many academics and professors rooting for him as he stated he would scrap the Songshan International Airport. "What Taipei needs is a large-scaled renovation, instead of 'small certain happiness,'" said Yao, with a hint of criticism aimed at Ku, whose political promises included searching for small, certain happiness for the Taipei citizens.

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