Stop talking about Ko-Soong 2016; it won’t happen: Ko

By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (�_����) yesterday said that a presidential campaign featuring himself and People First Party founder and Chairman James Soong (������) is not possible, and went on to implore local press to refrain from addressing the issue any further. Ko made the comment during an interview before attending the Taipei City Government Traffic Report yesterday, in response to the presidential team-up suggestion made by former legislator and political pundit Li Ao (����) during the latter’s book promotion event the day before. The mayor went on to say that in the various advisor to the mayor meetings which the two have been known to have, the mayor had never spoken to Soong, a presidential campaign regular since 2000, about such issues. In response to questions regarding Soong’s statement during Li’s event, whereby the chairman noted that he would be open to discussing running in 2016 between July and August of this year with those who are interested to seek him out as a running mate, Ko said that it is impossible that he would run for the presidency.

Officials to be Delegated as Taipei Dome Inspectors In related news, Ko was quoted yesterday as saying that to protect the national historical sites as well as the safety of the Taipei Metro, the Taipei City Government has decided to demand Taipei Dome construction company Farglory (����) to allow delegated officials to conduct inspections on the dome. Ko said that the said delegates will be officials from the engineering offices of the city’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems. Ko said that previously, all inspections were handled internally by Farglory. As the recent safety inspection report has proven that there were numerous flaws in the dome’s safety, a team of engineers has been selected to conduct inspections as a result, Ko said. The mayor went on to say that an official request to implement the program will soon be delivered to the consortium, and that the said engineers would be allowed to conduct either nonscheduled or routine inspections on the dome should Farglory agree to the city government’s terms. Ko also mentioned that he still doesn’t understand the construction progress of the dome, and that he will most likely summon Farglory’s Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (���ö�) to conduct further talks after all construction, finance and legal issues have been cleared. In response to questions regarding whether the delegating of inspectors is an act of preparation for the city to take control of the dome, Ko said that the delegation of engineers is so the city government can better understand all problems surrounding the dome’s construction so that a well-prepared and practical renegotiation with Farglory would be possible.