Sun, Jun 02, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Tsai, Lai appeal for support as polling looms

SECURITY, POLICY:The president asked for more time to implement ideas, while the former premier touted his capability to ensure national sovereignty

By Su Fun-her and Chen Kuan-pei  /  Staff reporters

Democratic Progressive Party presidential hopeful William Lai speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former premier William Lai (賴清德) — who are seeking nomination by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as its presidential candidate — separately yesterday appealed to supporters, with party headquarters about to begin public opinion polls for its primary.

The DPP’s Central Executive Committee on Wednesday agreed to change the primary rules that it published on March 14, adopting proposals suggested by Tsai’s camp to have polls comprise 50 percent landline and 50 percent cellphone interviews, pitting Tsai and Lai against independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). The polls are to begin on June 10 and finish by June 14.

At a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Lai said he would safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Society has taught him three important principles: responsibility for the nation, keeping Taiwan and Taiwanese as top priorities and sustaining his ties to Taiwan, Lai said.

If elected president, he would uphold national sovereignty, democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law, he said, adding that he would boost economic development and national defense, safeguard the right of Taiwanese to determine the nation’s future, develop peaceful cross-strait relations and bolster Taiwan’s role in maintaining peace in the Asia-Pacific region as well as global collaboration.

Separately, Tsai visited three tourist spots in Changhua County, where supporters held placards welcoming her.

Over the past three years, she laid foundations for important policies, such as this year’s tax reduction, which helped ease the financial burden of young people and families, and created conditions that saw more than 3,000 Taiwanese businesses move back to the nation, Tsai said.

Despite questions over the policies early on, they formed a solid foundation upon which a stately house can be built, she said.

“However, it is not finished, so supervision cannot change hands,” she said, adding that more time was required to implement policies.

A televised forum is to be held, possibly on Saturday, for Tsai and Lai to discuss their platforms, the DPP said.

DPP Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) said that as opinion polls usually take three or four days to complete, the winner of the primary could be known as early as June 13.

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