KMT campaigning a topic on Ko’s biking trip

By Stephanie Chao, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan–Whether Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) will assist in campaigning with Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) became the foremost focus during Ko’s one-day cycling trip from Taipei to Chiayi to promote city cycling on Sunday. To boost lagging poll performances, Chu’s campaign staff reportedly looked to Ko for assistance, according to local media sources. Ko confirmed to local media that Chu’s staff had indeed gone to him for assistance, but denied that Chu had proposed the question himself. He made his one-day cycling trip from Taipei City to Chiayi County to promote city biking. Along the way, Ko also campaigned for 10 legislator candidates from various political parties, including the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and representatives from the Social Democratic Party (社民黨) and the Green Party (綠黨).

He denied the trip was relevant to political campaigning. “I’m cycling for myself, this is not for campaigning.”

The mayor reiterated that he was still considering assisting Chu, but denied receiving a call from Chu recently, citing their busy schedules.

KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) denied having knowledge of the rumors, but welcomed support from anyone who shared the same values.

Chu stated his gratitude for the Taipei City mayor, and denied knowledge of which staff member had approached Ko. When asked if he hoped Ko would help, Chu said he would respect each person’s decision, as everyone has their own business and considerations. Chu made his remarks to the media during his tour at a tourism factory in Douliou City, Yunlin County.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also stated her respect for Ko, who previously vowed a neutral position in the presidential elections.

”If (their) ideals and values are not the same, receiving help to deliver votes would be meaningless,” Tsai said.

Tsai made her comments as she campaigned for New Power Party (時代力量) legislative candidate Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) in New Taipei City.

She said she was not worried that Ko might help Chu. “Mayor Ko had stated his neutral stance before, and we also respect him.”