Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???) said Sunday that many of his policies over the past four years have proved effective, mainly because he is not affiliated with any political party, and he promised to build on that success if he is reelected on Nov. 24 for a second term.
In a live television presentation by four of the five Taipei mayoral candidates, Ko said he has changed the city's political culture since he was elected mayor in 2014 as an independent candidate.
For example, he said, he has been able to recruit talent across party lines and implement reforms that could not be carried by previous mayors of either the Kuomintang (KMT) or Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) because of political party considerations.
In his presentation of his policy proposals for the next four years, Ko did not go in detail, except to say that he will continue to build on his successes if he is reelected.
He said that because he is not affiliated with any political party, city government officials have been more willing to put forth fresh ideas.
One such idea was to relocate the Taipei Lantern Festival last year from the city's Expo Park to the Ximending area, which drew a good response and also rejuvenated the old-town district of Wanhua, Ko said.
Another of his achievements, he said, has been to improve the investment environment in Taipei for both local and foreign investors.
Prior to 2014, Ko said, Taipei accounted for 52 percent of the direct foreign investment in Taiwan, but by 2017 that had increased to 76 percent.
"When there is a system that is fair, ethical, open and transparent, everyone likes to do business with you," he said.
However, Yao Wen-chih (???) of the ruling DPP refuted Ko's assessment of his own performance, saying the Taipei City government has a very low rate of policy implementation compared with the central government.
Yao said Ko carried out 54.7 percent of the city government's plans in 2015, 56.18 percent in 2016, and 60 percent in 2017, while the central government averaged an implementation rate of 90 percent over the three-year period.
In presenting his own platform, Yao put forward a proposal for the development of the Taipei Dome, a stadium project that has been a standstill since 2015 due to controversial safety issues and allegations of corruption.
Yao said he would build a giant overhead urban park that would stretch from the dome to Taipei Railway Workshop, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, and Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall all the way to Taipei City Hall.
Another idea for the Taipei Dome was proposed by independent candidate Li Hsi-kun (???), who said in his presentation that he would convert it into a giant indoor botanic garden to attract tourists.
Li also said he would offer incentives to local businesses to turn Taipei into "a city that never sleeps" so that commercial activities could continue around the clock.
Another independent candidate Wu E-yang (???) focused on the city's traffic, saying "express buses" were needed during rush hour to ease congestion and make the transportation system more efficient.
Ting Shou-chung (???) of the main opposition KMT did not take part in the televised presentation but attended a campaign rally on the Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office instead.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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