Wed, Jun 05, 2019 - Page 3 News List

US neutral on vote, processes: AIT head

Staff writer, with CNA

American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen delivers an address at a US-Taiwan digital forum in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen yesterday reiterated Washington’s neutral stance toward Taiwan’s presidential election, following a pundit’s remarks that the AIT expressed concern about the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nomination process for next year’s election.

Political commentator Yang Sen-hong (楊憲宏) on May 23 told reporters that the AIT had been in contact with the DPP and consulted other opinion leaders on the party’s nomination process for its presidential ticket.

However, Yang declined to disclose which senior AIT official provided him with the information.

In an address to a digital forum cohosted by Taiwan and the US, Christensen said that as part of the AIT’s regular work, officials frequently meet with representatives of various political parties to better understand Taiwan’s political environment and procedures.

“But we take no position on the elections, or the processes by which they are conducted,” Christensen said. “As always, we will look forward to working with whomever Taiwan’s voters select.”

The DPP Central Executive Committee on Wednesday last week agreed to change the primary rules that it published on March 14, adopting proposals suggested by President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) camp to have polls be comprised of an equal proportion of landline and cellphone interviews.

The committee also decided to pit Tsai and former premier William Lai (賴清德) 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 Monday and finish by Friday next week.

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