Nov 18, 2018 Entertainment Comments Off on Taipei mayoral candidates present platforms, Yao resigns as lawmaker
Taipei, Nov. 18 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???) on Sunday exchanged barbs with the Kuomintang's (KMT) Ting Shou-chung (???), according to most polls his closest contender, in the second and final television debate ahead of the election on Nov. 24.
Focusing on his platform to effect economic development, Ting criticized Ko for the slow progress made in implementing urban renewal projects involving old markets, school and apartment buildings and for failing to attract more foreign investment.
"Of the urban renewal projects Ko proposed four years ago when he ran for mayor, only 1 percent have been completed in four years," Ting said.
If elected, Ting said, he would change the rules to make it easier to convert residential land into commercial use land, relax restrictions on floor area ratios, and provide tax incentives to accelerate the pace of urban renewal.
Ting said he has "a strong sense of mission" to push ahead with urban renewal and that if elected he will forcibly remove "nail households," a term used to mean those who obstruct urban renewal projects.
In Ko's presentation, he refuted Ting's claim that Taipei's global competitiveness ranking has fallen and that the city has seen a decline in foreign investment over the past four years.
Since he took office, the city government has comprehensively reviewed the five major build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects, including the Taipei Dome, that have were caught up in scandals under the previous administration, Ko said.
Learning from past mistakes, the city government has established a system to undertake BOT projects in an open, transparent and pragmatic manner, making Taipei the very top choice for foreign investments in Taiwan, Ko said.
Taipei currently accounts for 76 percent of foreign investment in Taiwan, up from 52 percent when he became mayor, Ko said.
Meanwhile, Ko vowed to stand firm on the cancellation of the NT$1,500 (US$50) monthly allowance for senior residents from high-income families despite being repeatedly criticized for the policy.
The savings made, estimated at NT$700 million (US$22.48 million) annually, have been used to create a better nursing and care network for senior residents to meet the needs of the city's rapidly aging population, Ko said.
"I will insist on doing the right things, even though sometimes it is tough," he said.
Yao Wen-chih (???) of the Democratic Progressive Party declined to participate in the debate, preferring instead to attend a rally where he announced that he will resign as a lawmaker to focus his attention on the election.
The other two minor candidates Li Hsi-kun (???) and Wu E-yang (???), both independents, also participated in Sunday's television debate.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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