Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) led a march through the streets of Taipei Sunday with the aim of sending a message to the DPP to nominate a candidate to retake the capital in the upcoming Taipei mayoral elections.
The event, which was named “April 22 airport dome march” took the participants on a trek from Taipei Songshan Airport to the Taipei Dome, which Yao said are issues for the city.
In May 2015, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) ordered the Farglory Group to suspend construction of the Taipei Dome, which was already 80 percent complete, due to several critical flaws and public safety concerns.
At the end of last year, Yao announced his intention to run in the Taipei mayoral election and said that if elected, he will remove Taipei Songshan Airport, which he described as a “tumor” impeding the development of the city.
Asked if the march was intended to deliver a particular message, Yao replied that the participants were clearly showing that they do not want to support a mayor that is drifting away from Taiwanese values. He did not elaborate what those values are.
People want to know what the future holds for Taipei’s development, Yao said, adding that it is important to clearly let the people know the aims and direction of the city.
Yao also said that the DPP does not have internal factions and that many party members were present at the event to show support.
Former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), a member of the DPP, was also present at the event.
She called for supporters to urge the DPP to nominate a party candidate to run in the mayoral election and beat Ko.
She also expressed her concern over seeing China’s national flag on Taipei’s streets.
“Although the rights and interests of the people must be protected, national security is even more important,” Lu said, adding that “if Taipei is not returned (into DPP hands), then it may help Ching (Manchu) troops enter the gates.”
Lu’s analogy was a reference to the collapse of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when Manchurians conquered then China and ruled China until 1912.
Lu is the second DPP aspirant to step forward for the 2018 Taipei mayoral election, after Yao. They will both have to compete for their party’s support against Ko, who had the DPP’s backing in 2014 when he ran as an independent.
The event also saw 21 DPP Taipei City councilors, four new candidates and a number of legislators show up in support.
The vast number of people who attended the march flooded the city streets with green — the color of the t-shirts made for the event.
According to initial calculations by organizers, over 10,000 people participated, with 150 police dispatched to maintain order.
Meanwhile, at another event, Ko said that his mantra remains the same — to do what he is supposed to do.
The Taipei mayoral elections are expected to be held Nov. 24.
(By Fan Cheng-hsiang, Huang Li-yun, Liang Pei-chi, Lu Hsin-hui and William Yen)