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TPP nominee advocates poll-based decision on joint presidential ticket

10/05/2023 07:30 PM
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TPP Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (center) look at old photos during his visit to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Los Angeles Wednesday. CNA photo Sept. 5, 2023
TPP Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (center) look at old photos during his visit to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Los Angeles Wednesday. CNA photo Sept. 5, 2023

Los Angeles, Oct. 4 (CNA) Taiwan People's Party (TPP) presidential nominee, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), proposed on Wednesday the use of polling to determine who runs as presidential and vice presidential candidates as part of a joint campaign with the Kuomintang (KMT) to unseat the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

This proposal was made amid widespread speculation about the possibility of an opposition alliance. Despite speculation, the two main opposition parties in Taiwan, the KMT and TPP, have yet to show any indication they will officially collaborate to boost their chance of electoral success.

Speaking to the press prior to an event in Anaheim, California, Ko, the TPP chairman, highlighted the need for transparent rules for opposition cooperation.

He suggested that the candidate who is higher in the polls should be the presidential nominee, with the other party recommending the vice presidential candidate.

When questioned about whether he would be willing to run as the vice president nominee, Ko sidestepped the question, saying, "This involves party cooperation, and we [the TPP] will recommend an appropriate vice president candidate."

Drawing parallels to the 2014 Taipei mayoral election, where polling determined the nominee between himself and Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) of the DPP, Ko expressed confidence a mutually acceptable method for future TPP-KMT cooperation can be found.

Later that day, during the Anaheim event which was attended by around 400 attendees, the physician-turned-politician assured supporters "I promise you, [any challenges for cooperation] will all be resolved in the end."

As part of his four-day technology-focused visit to the U.S., Ko is set to depart for Taiwan early on Thursday (Pacific time).

Also on Wednesday in Taipei, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) suggested that cooperation between opposition parties is essential for victory in the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January 2024.

After months of concerted effort, the KMT and TPP are closer in terms of political philosophy, Chu told his party's Central Standing Committee.

As to the nomination of legislators, the two parties share the goal of preventing the DPP from securing a majority, he added, while noting the need for unity and coordination in nominations.

In a swift response to Ko's statement, KMT spokesperson Yang Chih-yu (楊智伃) told the press in Taipei on Thursday that the momentum of opposition cooperation remains steadfast, adding that there is ongoing communication between the two parties.

The KMT is advocating for direct engagement between the presidential candidates from both sides and this proposed interaction will be grounded in a shared political vision, Yang said.

(By Hans Lin and Chung Yu-chen)

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