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September 24, 2017

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DPP likely to endorse Ko for Taipei mayor

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday reached a mutual consensus whereby the DPP will likely not nominate any incumbent party members but will instead endorse Ko as Taipei City mayoral candidate.

Following Ko's win in the pan-green camp's second stage primaries, the DPP was reported to favor endorsing Ko over nominating incumbent party members. Ko was seen entering the DPP headquarters yesterday where he reportedly met with DPP integration panel convener Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) and DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) to negotiate future campaigning structures that the party and Ko will conduct.

After a meeting that lasted well over two hours, Ko, Gao and DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) received media reporters and confirmed that the DPP will potentially endorse Ko.

Gao stated in the press interview that the party will not pressure Ko into joining the DPP, nor will the party intervene with Ko's personnel arrangements should he win the election. Following mutual consensus, said Gao, both parties hope to create a strong alliance to reinvent the capital.

During the interview, Ko stated that he will be involved in the party platform discussions on the DPP's 2014 mayoral and magisterial elections, and will then use the mutually agreed political goals as his mayoral platform. Ko also promised that he will be involved in DPP mayoral and magisterial discussions to achieve mutual consensus and goals if he wins the election.

The two parties are also said to have agreed on mutual campaigning support, with Ko promising that he will actively campaign for the 27 DPP Taipei City councilor nominees, while the DPP will support Ko's campaign strategists, who are seeking nominations as borough chiefs.

Gao stated that with the consensus he will represent the integration panel and present the discussion with Ko to the DPP Central Standing Committee on Wednesday. The committee will very likely cement the decision to endorse Ko and not nominate any incumbent members for the mayoral election should the negotiations be satisfactory.

Criticism from Former Vice President

Former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who has said that she does not rule out entering the mayoral race, has shown her dissatisfaction at the party's favoring of Ko. During an online interview, Lu criticized DPP supporters of the physician, including DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Lu openly stated she believes that by supporting Ko the party is completely at the disposal of the physician. Lu went on to state that should Ko lose the election, Tsai should step down from her current position, along with any DPP supporters of Ko who currently hold positions in politics.

The vice president went on to question Ko's legitimacy, stating that she does not understand how Ko has the ability to use the DPP, commenting that the party has come a long way in establishing itself with the influence it has today, indirectly criticizing Ko's status as a non-DPP member.

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