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President Tsai says she intends to run for re-election in 2020

2019/02/19 17:03:25

President Tsai-Ing-wen (蔡英文)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) Taiwan President Tsai-Ing-wen (蔡英文) told CNN on Tuesday that she intends to run for re-election as the country's leader in 2020.

"It's natural that any sitting president wants to do more for the country and wants to finish things on his or her agenda," Tsai told CNN's Matt Rivers in an interview abroad her presidential plane, when questioned about her plans for the presidential election in 2020.

Asked if that means she will seek re-election, Tsai nodded and said "yes, yes," in the interview, which the Presidential Office said took place Monday.

Tsai said she was confident in her prospects, noting that it is "something I have prepared for."

But she is also aware of the challenges ahead.

"It's again another challenge. Being president, you're not short of challenges. At good times you have challenges of one sort, and in bad times you have challenges of another sort," Tsai told CNN.

Tsai's interest in running for re-election comes as her approval rating remains below 40 percent.

In November last year, Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered heavy losses in elections for local government leaders, seen by many as a referendum on her leadership and her administration's performance.

Tsai stepped down as chairwoman of the party after the defeat. Senior Taiwan independence advocates have called on her to not run for re-election in 2020, worried that the China-leaning Kuomintang (KMT) could retake power, but Tsai has resisted such calls.

She has said her party has a democratic system for selecting its presidential candidates and that no one person has the final say in such a matter.

(By Christie Chen)