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Ko's new campaign director to resolve feuds

TAIPEI -- Independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je has found a new campaign manager in Yao Li-ming, an associate professor of public administration at Chinese Culture University who says his focus will be on ending partisan fighting.

Yao, a former member of the minor New Party, announced in a Thursday Facebook post that he had joined the team of opposition supporters backing Ko, currently the frontrunner for the November election.

Yao wrote that he thought long and hard about whether to join Ko's campaign, revealing that he has chosen to do so to prove that changes can be made to the long-running political stand-off between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led blue camp and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led green camp.

He said that he and Ko share a desire to make a difference instead of watching Taiwan suffer through partisan fighting, and that if elected, they plan to form a municipal government that bases its decisions on “right and wrong” instead of political affiliation.

Yao's inclusion in Ko's campaign raises concerns, however, that the independent candidate could lose votes from supporters of former President Chen Shui-bian, the first DPP president in Taiwan's history, because Yao was a vocal critic who called for Chen's resignation in 2006.

Ko, an outspoken surgeon who has earned the endorsement of the DPP despite not being in the party, told the press that rallying people from across the green camp was never easy-going, and his priority is building the best team with the most qualified people.

Chen Chih-chung, the son of former President Chen, said that he has a positive view of Yao's participation because it marks “the beginning of another wave of political reconciliation.”

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Yao Li-ming, an associate professor of public administration at Chinese Culture University, is seen in this undated file photo. Yao announced yesterday that he had joined the team ...

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