The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should rally behind President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) now that she has won its presidential primary, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said yesterday.
The DPP has selected its candidate for next year’s presidential election through a democratic primary and Tsai is to take up the responsibility of protecting Taiwan and its democracy, said Cheng, who had been part of the five-member DPP panel created to mediate between Tsai and former premier William Lai (賴清德).
“At this moment, we know very well that everyone should be on the side of Taiwan, that President Tsai and former premier William Lai are not winner and loser, but crucial members of our team,” Cheng wrote on Facebook.
DPP members must work together and win the trust of the people, he added.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members said they had expected Tsai to win the primary.
Her win was no surprise, but the important issue for the KMT is whether Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) joins the presidential race, KMT Legislator Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said.
KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) said Tsai’s victory was expected because the DPP made multiple changes to its primary regulations to ensure her win.
The passage last month of the same-sex marriage bill and the recent protests against the proposed extradition law in Hong Kong all helped Tsai gain more support, he said.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event at the city’s Meinong Junior High School, said the public must “give Tsai the toughest test” next year if they do not want the same life they have been living since she was elected in 2016.
Life has been difficult for Taiwanese over the past three years due to a weak economy and tense cross-strait relations, he said.
While Lai has described himself as a pragmatic worker for Taiwanese independence, will Tsai be an “unpragmiatic worker for Taiwanese independence?” Han said.
“President Tsai, where will you lead the Republic of China?” he added.
Asked during a Taipei City Council meeting what he would say to Tsai following her primary win, Ko said: “Go for it” (加油, add oil).
Asked again if he would enter the presidential race, the Taipei mayor reiterated that he would talk about it when the time is right.
The DPP said Tsai beat Lai by 8.2 percentage points, and led Lai among young voters aged between 20 and 39.
Compared against Ko and Han in the three-way polls, Tsai still garnered more than 30 percent of support from that age group and while Ko had about the same percentage, Han received 10.9 percent and 18 percent.
However, Ko’s support rate among young voters increased to 53.3 percent and 45.5 percent when compared with Lai and Han; while Lai received 14.1 percent and 18.9 percent, Han received 10.1 percent and 16.9 percent, the polls showed.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po and Yang Chun-hui
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