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DPP to include cellphone respondents in presidential primary

2019/05/17 22:25:02

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, left) and former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德)/CNA file photo

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Cellphone interviews will be included in polls to be conducted that will determine the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) nominee in Taiwan's 2020 presidential election, the party said Friday.

The agreement was reached after a second round of meetings between representatives of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), the two candidates vying for the nomination.

The DPP's presidential primary will consist only of opinion polls and not include a vote by party members.

Tsai, who is facing a rare internal primary challenge as an incumbent president, has wanted cellphone interviews to be included in the primary polls, but Lai originally called the method of polling unfair and said the process could be vulnerable to cheating.

DPP Secretary-General Lo Wen-jia (羅文嘉), who chaired the meeting, said the two sides have agreed on the polling issue, though the precise ratio of landline and smartphone interviews will have to be determined until the next meeting to be held Monday.

In terms of televised presentations, the two sides also agreed to hold two debates to discuss their policies.

According to Lo, reporters will have the opportunity to ask questions to Tsai and Lai in the first televised debate, while civic groups will do the same in the second event.

The dates have yet to be determined, but both sides agreed to space the debates one week apart, Lo said.

The schedule is likely to push the date the polls will actually be conducted even further back. The DPP was scheduled to hold its primary in April, but then delayed it to May 22 and then to after May 22. Lo said the date will be finalized in the next round of talks Monday.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ko Lin)
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