Could Taipei Mayor still run in the 2020 presidential election?

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) again declined to respond to media inquiries on Wednesday whether he would run in the 2020 presidential election.

According to the latest poll released by My Formosa (美麗島電子報) on Monday, incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) leads Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) with 34.8 percent and 24.6 percent of voting intentions, respectively.

The founder of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP, 民眾黨) received 24.7 percent of support in the same poll, 0.1 percent higher than the Kuomintang candidate (KMT, 國民黨).

Asked if the results of the poll stirred his interest to join the election, Ko dodged the awkward question with a smile and said that there is still time before the registration deadline.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je spoke on Oct.30 in a press conference. (Yeh Cheng-hsun)
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je reacts during a press conference on Oct. 30. (NOWnews/Yeh Cheng-hsun)

Political parties must nominate their presidential candidate for the 2020 election before Nov. 22. According to regulations, political parties who gained more than 5 percent of support in the 2016 general election can nominate a presidential candidate for the upcoming election.

Four parties would, therefore, qualify for this election, including the ruling Democratic Progress Party (DPP, 民進黨), the KMT, the People First Party (PFP, 親民黨) and the New Power Party (NPP, 時代力量).

Multiple sources reported that the PFP had tried to nominate Ko for the presidential election for months. Yet, such PFP’s support would be split by the TPP candidates in the legislative election, meaning that there is little hope of a collaboration between Ko and the PFP.

In light of the major growing popularity and his vague answers regarding eventual participation in the election, however, local media have continued to support the idea of his presidential bid.