President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday assured fellow Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members that she would win next year’s presidential election and that she has a mission to safeguard Taiwan’s freedom and democracy as the party officially nominated her as its presidential candidate.
Tsai explained her two main goals, saying: “We shall win the presidency and more than half of seats in the legislature,” in a speech following her nomination at a meeting of the DPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.
In the party’s primary, Tsai defeated her sole challenger, former premier William Lai (賴清德), with an average support rating of 35.67 percent in five public opinion polls, which gave equal weighting to landline and mobile phone interviews, compared with 27.48 percent for Lai.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“We have finished the primary process, but we will face greater challenges and heavier responsibilities in the next phase. Therefore, our party must rally together to accomplish our mission,” she said.
The DPP must become a unifying force to consolidate party machinery and the campaign team for the election to help people identify with the party’s vision for Taiwan and obtain the highest level of support from society, Tsai said.
“After winning the election, we shall safeguard Taiwan’s freedom and democracy, and we must defend the values and accomplishments in our government’s reform policies,” she said. “More importantly, we must uphold Taiwan’s sovereignty — this is the mission that we must undertake, and be successful in it.”
Support from younger people would be crucial to her re-election, she said, adding that the DPP must respond to the their needs and aspirations.
“The most critical factor is the power of the younger generation. I hope through the campaign efforts and in our future administration, we can garner more support from the ‘youth power’ and that they can build up our nation working together with the DPP,” Tsai said.
“We must thank former premier Lai for accompanying me all the way through to the end of the primary process. On this journey, Lai helped boost the morale of party members, as he gave them the opportunity to explain our government’s values and achievements to all Taiwanese,” she said.
“We must thank Lai for his display of determination and follow-through on democratic principles,” she added.
Tsai individually thanked party officials, lawmakers, CEC members, Central Standing Committee members and others for their support.
“There were some frictions during the primary ... but it is all in the past, and now is the time to rally together. We have to fully cooperate and spur on each other to take on the upcoming election battle. We must garner greater support from society, so that Taiwan can keep making strides forward,” Tsai said.
Tsai also thanked DPP Chairman Cho Yung-tai (卓榮泰) for his guidance of the party’s central leadership, through which they conducted the primary process with diligence and overcame challenges.
Cho in his speech spoke of a “main strategy” for the election.
“The central pillar for our campaign is based on winning the presidential race, which will bolster our battle to win a majority of the seats at the legislature, which is our main strategy,” he said.
“All the while we will work closely with all sectors of society for a ‘grand dialogue.’ These are the twin arrows of our party with which to gain the public’s trust,” Cho said.
The DPP’s central and local leadership, along with Tsai’s campaign team and the legislative candidates with their campaign teams, would form a “golden triangle” for the elections to ensure victory for the continued governance of the nation by Taiwanese, he said.
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