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Ko-Hou ticket worst scenario for DPP in presidential election: Source

11/15/2023 09:56 PM
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Vice President Lai Ching-te (left) of the DPP, New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (center) of the KMT and Taiwan People's Party Chairman Ko Wen-je. Photo: CNA
Vice President Lai Ching-te (left) of the DPP, New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (center) of the KMT and Taiwan People's Party Chairman Ko Wen-je. Photo: CNA

Taipei, Nov. 15 (CNA) The worst possible scenario for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the upcoming presidential election would be for Taiwan People Party (TPP) nominee Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to run for the presidency, with the Kuomintang's (KMT) Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) as his running mate, according to an anonymous DPP official.

The key to winning the Jan. 13, 2024 election lies in securing the support of young voters, who largely favor Ko, the DPP official told CNA on Wednesday, after the TPP and the KMT reached an agreement to form a joint ticket based on polling results from Nov. 7-17.

The DPP member argued that if Ko is the presidential candidate, the convergence of his youthful support base with the likelihood of KMT supporters rallying behind Ko to unseat the DPP, could pose a serious challenge to the ruling party.

According to a poll released on Nov. 13 by the online news outlet CNEWS, Ko's approval rating among the 20-39 age group, which includes first-time voters, reached 50.1 percent, a significant lead over Lai's 22.6 percent and Hou's 5.8 percent.

In contrast, according to the source, if Hou tops the joint ticket, the impact on the DPP would not be as significant, as Ko's supporters, who favor a new political landscape in Taiwan, would be less inclined to rally behind Hou and his 129-year-old political party.

Nov. 16: Poll selection disputes could disrupt joint opposition ticket: Expert

In such a scenario, many of Ko's young supporters might choose to vote for the DPP nominee Lai Ching-te (賴清德), the DPP analyst said, without elaborating.

The KMT and the TPP released a joint statement on Wednesday, announcing that poll results will determine who heads the ticket in the presidential election.

However, the statement was less clear on how the polls will be weighed and the results determined.

The coming days will be crucial for closely monitoring how the KMT-TPP alliance plays out, with key variables at play, the DPP source said.

Questions remain about which polls will be used, how they will be weighted, and who will emerge as the presidential candidate. The DPP source contended that Ko will be pivotal in determining the election outcome if a Hou-Ko ticket is finalized.

According to the source, the DPP will closely monitor whether Ko chooses to sit back and play only a minimal role in the election campaign or actively campaigns for the possible Hou-Ko joint ticket.

Another variable is whether Terry Gou (郭台銘), founder of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and aspiring presidential candidate, officially registers his candidacy before the Nov. 24 deadline.

The tech billionaire on Tuesday officially qualified for Taiwan's 2024 presidential election after the Central Election Commission confirmed he passed the threshold for valid signatures submitted as part of his citizen petition.

Taiwanese voters go to the polls on Jan. 13, 2024 to elect the president, vice president and all 113 members of the Legislative Yuan.

(By Chung Yu-chen, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Yeh Su-ping)

Enditem/AW

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FEATURE/Could a prospective opposition joint ticket block Lai's path to the presidency?

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