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May 30, 2017

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Ko not among DPP's official list of Taipei's candidates for mayor

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) released a list of candidates seeking to represent the party in the race for Taipei mayor, with pan-green mayoral hopeful Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) notably absent.

Five candidates are listed as seeking the party's nomination: former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), lawyer Wellington Ku (顧立雄), Taipei City Councilor Chou Po-ya (周柏雅), Legislators Yao Wen-zhi (姚文智) and Hsu Tian-tsair (許添財). Ko has yet to formally announce whether he will seek the DPP nomination or run as an independent candidate.

If Ko does decide to seek the DPP nomination, the party would need to alter its regulations regarding candidate suitability. Current party regulations require a candidate have been a registered party member for at least two years before they can run in a primary election.

The list of candidates, released after a meeting of the party's candidacy consulting team yesterday, will be sent to the DPP's Central Standing Committee today.

As Ko has not explicitly expressed a desire to join the DPP, he was not included on the list, consulting team member Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said.

Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤), another member of the candidacy consulting team, said that the issue of Ko's membership will be handled by the party leadership or the Central Standing Committee and not by the candidate consulting team, whose job is now finished for the moment.

I Can Still Register One Second Before the Deadline: Ko

Ko, a physician at National Taiwan University Hospital, said he would delay his decision on seeking the DPP nomination as long as possible, saying "The DPP has postponed its candidate consulting sessions. If it is held off until next week, I will make my decision next week. One day passed is one day saved."

"The membership issue is still negotiable even one second before the deadline, which is when the hopefuls have to register. We don't have to determine the issue right now. I believe that the DPP's leaders are wise and courageous in their handling of the problem," Ko said.

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