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June 28, 2017

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Taipei mayoral candidates Lien, Ko trade barbs

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday responded to a statement made by the Kuomingtang's (KMT) candidate Sean Lien (連勝文), indirectly attacking the KMT mayoral hopeful's privileged background.

During a televised interview on July 25, Lien stated that the main reason why it is difficult for the current city government to successfully accomplish its goals with its proposed platform is due to financial difficulties.

Following the comment, Lien later went to state that should oil miraculously burst out from underneath Taipei City Hall, he would cover all living expenses of Taipei city citizens as well as leisure and entertainments costs, creating a city that will be better even than that of Brunei. However, Lien said that as such a miracle is impossible, he is in the process of developing creative methods to achieve the greatest benefits with the least amount of resources.

Lien's statement prompted Ko to criticize Lien as a believer of the "oil doctrine," which indirectly refers to Lien as a privileged individual. Ko was quoted to have said, in response to his opponent's statement, that Lien thinks success is determined by the resources given at birth. People should look for ways to succeed and not excuses for failure, Ko said.

Ko went on to provide an example of how he deems money to be less important than Lien makes it out to be. Taipei receives NT$176 billion in tax revenues annually, Ko said, and though the construction of 50,000 units of public housing requires around NT$100 billion, the government does not need to provide the entire amount all at once. Rather, the government should spread out the payments over several years so that the city government would only need to spend NT$10 billion per year.

Ko States Possibility of Legal Action Against KMT's Attack

During her appearance in a political show on July 25, KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) stated on national television that Ko is not as nice of a man as people think he is, and that Ko was a member of "hospital royalty" who bullied the nurses that worked with him. Lo's statement has been reported to be an attack made as a result of the KMT's personnel consolidation efforts for the election.

Ko responded to Lo's statement yesterday, saying that there needs to be proof behind accusations. Ko stated that he is unlike Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and won't be taken down by accusations without a fight. When local press questioned Ko whether legal actions would be taken, the mayoral hopeful urged Lo to withdraw her statements or else a legal action would be taken against her.

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