Tension rises as DPP lawmakers call for party to field against Ko in 2018

A Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker, who started a petition demanding the party to run against incumbent Ko Wen-je in the Taipei mayoral election in 2018, described Ko as “worse than the enemy.” (The China Post file photo)

A Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker who started a petition demanding the party to run against incumbent Ko Wen-je in the Taipei mayoral election in 2018 described Ko as “worse than the enemy.”

Legislator Cheng Pao-ching (鄭寶清) said in a radio interview Monday that Ko calls himself an ally but has never ceased to attack the party. It is natural for the rival Kuomintang to criticize the DPP, but when Ko does so frequently it would persuade the public that the DPP is really doing bad, Cheng said.

Cheng also accused Ko of changing his political positions constantly. Ko professed to be a “deep green” politician (referring to a strong supporter of Taiwan localism/nationalism) but shifts cross the spectrum step by step to “deep blue” (referring to a heavily pro-China ideology) and even “light red” (the color that represents the Chinese government), Cheng said.

Over 30 lawmakers have signed on Cheng’s petition calling for the DPP to pick a candidate in the election. The DPP stayed out of the 2014 Taipei mayoral election to make way for Ko, who went on to become the independent candidate to win the mayorship of the capital city.

DPP Taipei chapter director Huang Cheng-kuo (黃承國) said calls for a party candidate have been growing and they should be addressed.

In response, Ko said that tough talks are useless between the DPP and him. Ko said that he stumped for Cheng when he ran for Taoyuan Magistrate in 2005. When asked by the media if he thinks Cheng is repaying his kindness with a grudge, Ko said that “this is just how politics works”.

Ko also dismissed the accusation by some DPP lawmakers that he chose to criticize the DPP publicly even though he could have shared his opinions via “private channel”, suggesting that such channel does not exist. 

The China Post staff