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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Ko vows to ‘fight to end’ for his party

Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je, center, stands on a stage as supporters cheer and wave TPP flags at a campaign event in New Taipei City yesterday.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je, center, stands on a stage as supporters cheer and wave TPP flags at a campaign event in New Taipei City yesterday. Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

2023/11/20 03:00

CUTTING IT CLOSE: The KMT’s Eric Chu said an alliance with Ko Wen-je might be finalized on Wednesday, 2 days before the deadline for presidential candidates to register

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Huang Ching-hsuan / Staff reporters

Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candiate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that he would fight to the end as his party’s presidential candidate, after the TPP and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) failed to agree on a joint presidential ticket the day before.

He knew that many people were still wondering whether the TPP and the KMT would be cooperating, Ko told a party rally in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) that had been planned two months ago.

All he wanted to say again was that the nation’s future is decided by the people, Ko said, adding that that is the core value of democracy.

About 4,000 people were in attendance.

“I will not go against the will of the people, nor will I betray you,” Ko said as people cheered.

“To end the suffering of the people, I will extend the utmost goodwill, uniting all possible forces” to form a joint ticket, he said.

“However, I will continue to fight to the end in my capacity as the TPP’s presidential candidate,” Ko said.

Before taking the stage, Ko was asked whether the deadline for the “blue-white alliance” between the KMT and the TPP would be on Wednesday.

He did not respond directly, but referred to the campaign event, saying: “Alright, alright, today is a happy day.”

Asked if he was still in favor of forming an opposition coalition, Ko said of course they still wished to nominate the “strongest presidential candidate for the opposition parties.”

Earlier yesterday, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said the finalization of the alliance might need to wait until Wednesday.

Friday is the last day for candidates to register for January’s elections, and registration begins today.

The KMT and TPP had agreed to announce who would lead their joint presidential ticket on Saturday.

However, three experts who were recommended by the parties to review polling data on Friday evening failed to reach a conclusion by Saturday, as the TPP had a different opinion on what the margin of error should be.

The TPP said Ko had agreed to a margin of error of 3 percentage points, not the 6 percentage points the KMT wanted.

Chu yesterday said that according to the three experts, a ticket led by New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, with Ko as his running mate won eight of nine polls.

As the TPP rejected the polls conducted only on landline telephones, the Hou-led ticket won five of the six remaining polls, Chu said.

However, the TPP insisted that the margin of error be 3 percentage points, meaning that the Hou-led ticket and Ko-led ticket each won three of the six polls, he said.

Chu — referring to Ko on Saturday saying that the two parties must cooperate — said the KMT is ready to negotiate with the TPP at any time, and hopes to finalize cooperation on Wednesday.

Separately, Hou yesterday said that everyone is welcome to look into and discuss the results of the nine opinion polls.

Asked about the polling result disagreement, Hou said that the KMT has conceded more than three times, including by excluding the party support rate in the polls and excluding three opinion polls that favored the Hou-led ticket.

Ko on Saturday said he had yielded many times since the KMT first approached him with the idea of an alliance, such as by no longer insisting on holding three public debates and conducting public polls, and agreeing to partnering with Hou on the same ticket.

As the TPP is a smaller party, Ko said he also yielded by agreeing that if the Ko-led ticket won by a margin of less than 3 percentage points, it would be considered a win for the Hou-led ticket, but the KMT’s claim that the TPP would yield to a margin of six percentage points was against the agreement made on Wednesday last week.

Additional reporting by Lin Yi-chang and CNA

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi, center, speaks at a campaign event in Chiayi County yesterday
Photo: Lin Yi-chang, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi, center, speaks at a campaign event in Chiayi County yesterday Photo: Lin Yi-chang, Taipei Times

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