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May 29, 2017

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DPP forgoes own candidate and supports Ko instead

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday passed a decision not to nominate its own candidate for the upcoming Taipei mayoral elections and that pan-green hopeful Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) would have the party's support, said party spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) yesterday.

The decision was reached in the DPP's Central Executive Committee meeting, which was held yesterday to discuss the party's next step in the pan-green integration process.

Ko came out first in the public surveys — which was also the pan-green camps' second-stage primary - which were held last week, outstripping DPP candidate Yao Wen-chih (姚文智), who later asked the DPP for a chance to represent the party in the elections. Both aspirants received higher approval ratings than Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Sean Lien in the surveys.

According to Lin, the DPP's Central Executive Committee has agreed that the party will not be nominating its own candidate for Taipei mayor, and that Ko was to receive the party's full support during the campaign.

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has also instructed the party to muster its strength and that of the rest of the pan-green camp to end the KMT's regime in Taipei City, said Lin.

The DPP hopes for Ko to visit the party's grassroots membership to help him understand his supporters' opinions. "Ko has promised that he would assist the DPP in getting all nominated city councilors elected in the future as well," said Lin.

In response to former Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) comments that Tsai was giving up her authority and humiliating the party by supporting Ko, the chairwoman stated that she, like Ko, looks forward to further communication with Lu.

Ko yesterday visited the DPP's headquarters in Taipei and met with party officials, expressing his hope of establishing an "Opposition Union."

"It is normal to encounter difficulties in the integration process, but I am grateful for friends who are helping me out," said Ko.

Tsai Lacks a Team and

Courage: Lee

Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) commented on the DPP's freshly elected chairwoman yesterday, saying that, as a leader, Tsai needs a stronger team behind her and more courage.

"Being a leader calls for courage, or people will be unwilling to follow you. The gender of a leader is not a big issue, but for a female leader, one has to aspire to be like Margaret Thatcher," said Lee.

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