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Taiwan People's Party formed by Taipei mayor

ROC Central News Agency

2019/08/06 17:06:39

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) The Taiwan People's Party (TPP), initiated by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), was established Tuesday, with Ko elected its founding chairman.

Ko, widely seen as a wild card in the 2020 presidential election, said his party has been founded "in the name of Taiwan and on the basis of the people" and will work to change the country's political culture.

In an address, Ko said he chose to name the TPP as its 1927 predecessor, bearing the same name for a reason, as "they both were formed to serve as a wake-up call to all Taiwanese and to change the political atmosphere of their respective times."

Founded by Taiwanese democracy pioneer Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水), the TPP of that time was the first political party of Taiwan during Japanese rule.

Ko criticized current Taiwanese politicians of focusing only on personal or their parties' gains while sacrificing the greater good of the whole nation.

Amid accusations that his new party lacks core values, Ko said that the core values of the TPP are to prioritize "gaining the best interests for the country, for all Taiwanese people, instead of focusing on personal or political parties' interests only."

With his four-and-a-half-year's of experience as Taipei mayor, Ko said he is confident that the TPP's founding will offer Taiwanese voters a new option other than the traditional pan-blue and pan-green camps.

Though he did not attend Tuesday's ceremony, Terry Gou (郭台銘), founder of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., who was beaten in the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT's) presidential primary last month by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kou-yu (韓國瑜), sent flowers to congratulate the TPP's founding as did former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

Wang pulled out of the KMT presidential primary in June on the grounds that the party's new primary process favors some KMT candidates over others but said he would still run for president.

According to the TPP, the party has 111 founding members. Most of them are Ko's current aides and incumbent Taipei City government officials.

The TPP said it is open to all citizens older than 16. Party members can hold other political party memberships and will not be asked to pay membership fees.

Ko's chief-of-staff Tsai Pi-ju (蔡璧如), meanwhile, said she submitted documents on the TPP's formation to the Ministry of the Interior Tuesday.

Outside the ceremony venue, dozens of protesters demonstrated against Ko for forming his political party. They criticized Ko for doing little during his mayorship and urged him to resign from his post as Taipei mayor.

(By Liang Pei-chi, Ku Chuan, Chen Yi-hsuan and Joseph Yeh)

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