Taipei mayor to establish political party

2019/07/31 23:15:01 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (CNA file photo)

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (CNA file photo)

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has informed the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) that he plans to establish a new political party, his top aide said Wednesday.

Ko, who is serving a second term as Taipei mayor, is seen as a contender in the 2020 presidential election against the incumbent Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

According to Ko's top aide Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如), the mayor will follow in the footsteps of Taiwanese democracy pioneer Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水), who founded the Taiwanese People's Party (台灣民眾黨) in 1927 during the period of Japanese rule.

Chiang was born Aug. 6, 1890 and died Aug. 5, 1931. Ko's political party will be named after Chiang's and will be officially announced on the anniversary of the late leader's birth, the mayor's aides said.

On behalf of Ko, Tsai has submitted a notice to the MOI about the Aug. 6 event, the aides said.

Ko is hoping that his new party will win about 10 seats in the legislative elections, which will be held concurrently with the presidential election in January 2020, according to his aides.

The mayor will also consider running on the same ticket with the KMT's Terry Gou (郭台銘) in the presidential election, or throwing his weight behind Gou in a bid to win as many legislative seats as possible, his aides said.

Gou, the founder of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., lost to Han in the KMT's presidential primary earlier this month and is said to be considering running as an independent.

According to Ko's aides, the mayor will meet the press Thursday to elaborate on his political plans.

Lin Ching-chi (林清淇), head of the MOI's Department of Civil Affairs, confirmed that the ministry had received a notice from Ko about the Aug. 6 meeting to establish the political party.

Under the Political Parties Act, an application, a party platform, and the signature of more than 100 members must be submitted to the MOI within 30 days after the initial meeting.

Upon receipt of those documents, the MOI will review the application and decide whether to give approval, according to the law.

Lin said MOI officials will attend the Aug. 6 meeting to see whether more than 50 party members show up, as required by law.

(By Liang Pei-chi, Wang Cheng-chung and Frances Huang)
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