President Tsai Ing-wen to run for second term after securing party primary battle

File picture of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Image: Reuters

DHARAMSALA, 13 June: The incumbent President of the Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen has clinched her party, Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nomination for the 2020 Taiwan presidential election.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen overcame the challenge from former premier William Lai Ching-te after a fiercely fought primary that threatened to divide the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, reports the

Tsai has secured her victory over the former premier by close to 9 percentage points to emerge as the winner of the independence-leaning party’s presidential nominee on Thursday in the two-way race conducted in the form of public opinion surveys, between Monday and Wednesday, the report added.

The DPP chairman Cho Jung-tai has stated in the report that the president has received a support rate of 35.67 per cent compared to Lai’s 27.48 per cent at the party’s preliminary declaring her to represent the party to run for a second term in January’s presidential poll.

The DPP will now officially name Tsai as its presidential nominee during a party meeting next Wednesday, the report added.

Tsai, who is in her first term as president, announced she would seek a second term during a February interview with CNN. However, her campaign was thrown into disarray when Lai, who served as her premier until his resignation in January, surprisingly announced his entry into the race earlier in March.

Backed by the hard-line pro-independence heavyweights within the DPP Party, he was seen as a serious challenge to Tsai.

His bid threatened to divide the party, the report said and added that the party has been struggling to win back voters since a major electoral defeat in the local elections in November 2018 following which Tsai resigned as chairwoman of the DPP.

The opposition, Kuomintang party (KMT) which favours ever-closer ties with China will select its presidential nominee in a similar public opinion survey primary to be conducted between July 5 and July 15, the report added.

It is reported that Tsai will now face either KMT’s Han Kuo-yu, a popular mayor of the southern port city of Kaohsiung, or billionaire Foxconn chairman Terry Gou Tai-ming in the 2020 presidential poll.

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