Taipei Mayor reveals intent to run for president in 2024

21-Jan-2021 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je expressed interest in throwing his hat in the ring for the 2024 presidential election as he shared his views on geopolitical uncertainties in an interview with the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun.

Published Tuesday (January 19), the article said Ko would make his presidential bid three years from now because “Taiwan needs seismic political and judicial reforms.” However, an approval rating of 20 percent or higher will be needed for him to push ahead with the campaign.

Regarding cross-strait relations, the mayor admitted that Taiwan, sandwiched between the US and China, cannot counter Beijing alone. He said he would draw lessons from Japan, which also has to deal with conundrums stemming from competition between the two superpowers.

Speaking on Taiwan’s ban of imported Japanese foods from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Ko was equivocal, saying only that he supports lifting the restriction only if the products are scientifically proven to be safe and properly labeled. The import ban is believed to be a hurdle in Taiwan’s effort to join the Japan-led Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The surgeon-turned politician has said that if he were to become the president of Taiwan, he would strive to ensure the country has a reliable government, fair judicial institutions, and public servants with integrity, wrote Storm Media. Ironically, it was what he believed to be an unjust judicial system that catapulted him into the political arena.

Ko is the chair of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), which he founded in 2019 as a way to accumulate political capital for the 2024 presidential bid. TPP has secured five seats in the 2020 legislative election, but its clout is still dwarfed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has 61 seats, and the opposition KMT, which holds 38 seats.

Ko’s second term as the capital’s mayor ends in 2022.


Category: Taiwan

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