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September 23, 2017

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Yao leads in first of DPP's Taipei primaries

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday released the results of the first stage of its party primaries for Taipei mayor, with Legislator Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) in the lead.

Aiming to choose the ultimate candidate for the elections by an integration process with all pan-green Taipei mayoral aspirants, the DPP finished the first stage of its primary mechanism via a series of public surveys yesterday. The original candidates were former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Yao, Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and lawyer Wellington Ku (顧立雄), but Lu announced that she would be pulling out of the poll as she felt that the party was "tailoring its primaries to fit non-party members."

In a previous three-way survey (one including pan-green physician Ko Wen-je, one with only DPP members and one comparing all pan-green hopefuls to Lien), Ku had higher approval rates than Yao in the members-only poll. However, Yao surprised many by his victory yesterday.

Yao will be competing against Ko and fellow independent Neil Peng (馮光遠) in the second stage primary to decide who will be representing the pan-green camp.

According to the DPP, the ultimate candidate to run against the Kuomintang's Sean Lien will be announced in the middle of June.

Ku issued a statement after the survey results were released, saying that he felt apologetic toward his friends and supporters, but Yao has his full support in the future.

"As long as we stay united, the DPP candidate will be able to integrate with other pan-green candidates and ultimately win the Taipei mayoral elections," said Ku.

Yao Invites Ko to Debate

After Yao came out first in the DPP's first-stage primaries, Ko noted that he will be cooperating with the pan-green camps' future integrations sincerely.

Yao had announced his hopes of holding two to three debates with fellow Taipei mayor hopefuls, to which Ko replied that the debates were "inevitable."

"When it comes to debating, we have to go with the rules of the other side; I will participate in whatever way the DPP wishes," said Ko.

In previous public polls, Ko was shown to be the pan-green camps' best chance to beat Lien, who has the highest approval rates among all hopefuls. But as Ko dragged out the issue of joining the DPP, he ultimately passed the deadline to sign up as a DPP representative and was left ineligible to participate in the party's primaries.

The only way for Ko to run for Taipei mayor is to win the pan-green camps' second-stage primaries.

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