Tsai Ing-wen endorsed to run for second term as Taiwan’s president

14-Jun-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has won her party’s nomination to run for a second four-year term after a fiercely fought primary that threatened to divide the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Tsai defeated former premier William Lai Ching-te by close to 9 percentage points to emerge as the winner on Thursday in the two-way race conducted in the form of public opinion surveys, between Monday and Wednesday.

“The results show that the president received a support rate of 35.67 per cent versus Lai’s 27.48 per cent,” DPP chair Cho Jung-tai said.

The remainder of the more than 16,000 randomly selected voters surveyed were undecided or chose neither candidate.

Lai, a former confidant of Tsai’s, shocked the party in March by announcing his intention to seek endorsement for a presidential run.

Lai had support from the hardline pro-independence heavyweights within the DPP and was seen as a serious challenge to Tsai. His bid threatened to divide the party, which has been struggling to win back voters since a crushing defeat in the local elections in November.

The DPP will officially name Tsai as its presidential nominee during a party meeting next Wednesday.

The main opposition Kuomintang party will select its presidential nominee in a similar public opinion survey primary to be conducted between July 5 and July 15.

Tsai is most likely to face the KMT’s Han Kuo-yu, a popular mayor of the southern port city of Kaohsiung, or billionaire Foxconn chair Terry Gou Tai-ming in the January election.

Most public opinion polls have shown Han ahead of all the presidential hopefuls. But the DPP primary surveys put Tsai in front, with support for Han at just 24.51 per cent, 10 percentage points lower than Tsai.

The surveys also show Tsai is ahead of Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je on 22.7 per cent. The independent Ko has been seen as a wild card in next year’s poll, given the general support for him from young voters in Taiwan.



Category: Taiwan

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