《TAIPEI TIMES》 Ko denies knowledge of CUPP deal
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je talks to reporters at the opening of a community center in the city yesterday. Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
CONFLICT: The Taipei Police Department sometimes receives orders from the National Police Agency and has to negotiate, Ko Wen-je said when questioned about a CUPP rally
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je （柯文哲） yesterday said he does not know who China Unification Promotion Party （CUPP） founder Chang An-le （張安樂） referred to when Chang said the party held an illegal rally in Taipei to celebrate the People’s Republic of China’s （PRC） national day on Oct. 1 after negotiating with the city’s police department.
Chang, a former Bamboo Union leader, aslo known by his triad nickname of “White Wolf,” in a live broadcast on Facebook last week said that “the police department negotiated with us, allowing it [the rally] to be like previous ones — lasting for two hours, and we dismissed after they held a sign up three times.”
A temporary stage decorated with the PRC flag and a banner that read “celebrating the PRC’s 70th anniversary” was set up on the plaza outside Taipei Main Station about noon.
About 500 members of the party gathered at about 2pm, sang March of the Volunteers, China’s national anthem, waved the PRC flag, and chanted “one country, two systems” and “unify China.”
Hundreds of police officers surrounded the rally.
Chang took the stage at 3:28pm to give a speech, when police held up a warning sign instructing participants to end the illegal rally.
The rally ended at about 3:50pm after the sign was held up four times and police began dispersing the crowd.
Several Taipei City councilors at a council meeting asked why police were apparently slow to act, allowing the event to be concluded before the participants were dispersed.
They also asked why the party was only fined NT$2,400 by the Taipei Public Works Department’s Parks and Street Lights Office for setting up a stage without approval.
An approved event held at the same location would need to pay a rent of NT$10,000 for four hours with an additional NT$30,000 security deposit.
Ko said he had no idea who in the police department Chang negotiated with, but he has always told the department that it should “carry out its duties according to the law.”
He said he can understand the difficulty the police department might have faced, because although he tells it to follow the regulations, “oftentimes, the National Police Agency would give it instructions, so it has to think about it and negotiate.”
Ko was also questioned about issues related to next year’s presidential and legislative elections, including a remark he made during an interview on Tuesday that the Taiwan People’s Party, of which he is the chairman, would nominate seven female and seven male candidates for legislator-at-large seats.
He said the party would also hold an open audition to find more legislator-at-large nominees, adding that if suitable people are found in the audition, they can be moved to a top position on the list.
He confirmed during the interview that his aide and Taipei City Government adviser Tsai Pi-ju （蔡壁如） is on the list, because he hopes to see Tsai, who is a “blabbermouth,” tell the public about what Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） caucus whip Ker Chien-ming （柯建銘） has said during closed-door caucus negotiations.
Ko said Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou （郭台銘） would also suggest some candidates for legislative-at-large seats, but his and Gou’s teams are still in an “adjustment period” and there is still time for negotiations.
He said in the interview that even after he has decided not to run for president, he expects the DPP to still view him as an enemy, as he believes the DPP “suffers from paranoia.”