People First Party may back Ko in Taipei mayor election

People First Party may back Ko in Taipei mayor election
People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong.

TAIPEI - People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong has not yet chosen a side between the two Taipei mayoral hopefuls, Kuomintang (KMT) Sean Lien and pan-green Ko Wen-je, but is seen to lean toward the latter, reported local media.

The other parties without their own candidates have all announced their favorites among the blue-green Taipei mayoral race. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) support the independent Ko, whereas the New Party supports the KMT candidate Lien.

However, local media speculated that Soong, on behalf of PFP, is still indecisive about remaining neutral or supporting Ko. According to local media, some people affiliated with PFP said that more than half of PFP members advised Soong to root for Ko. Furthermore, reports indicate that Soong himself is inclined to support Ko, but he "could not find the right timing to acknowledge his support."

PFP Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung commented that Ko had expressed his wishes for a meeting with Soong. However, Soong said that he would rather wait until both sides have clarified their political platform.

According to Liu, if the PFP's and Ko's platforms are in accordance with each other, the PFP would be inclined to side with Ko. Since Ko had expressed his admiration for Soong's political designs, there are high hopes for their cooperation. However, Liu said that the KMT had made advances to gain Soong's support as well.

The PFP has taken steps to sever ties with the KMT over the past few years, according to local reports. However, if the PFP does not side with either of the two major political parties, the KMT and the DPP, the PFP will be at a disadvantage.

Currently, three PFP Taipei councilor hopefuls have announced their support for Ko before Soong's decision, including Lin Kuo-cheng from the Zhongshan and Datong District, Wang Hsiao-yu from the Shilin and Beitou District, and aboriginal representative Kao Li Mao-chun, almost making up half of the councilor candidates.

However, even if Soong supports Ko, not all PFP councilor candidates will follow suit. In some pan-blue districts, supporting Ko spells out defeat for these candidates, local media reported.

Local reports indicated that another reason why Soong is indecisive is because supporting Ko might mean that the PFP's votes will be taken away. Furthermore, the rest of the councilor candidates might be divided between supporting Soong's final decision or staying pan-blue. According to local media, Lien has almost lost all hope regarding Soong's support. Soong will either choose to remain neutral or to support Ko, local media indicated.

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