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DPP denies speculation about Lai as premier

DPP denies speculation about Lai as premier

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Democratic Progressive Party on Friday rejected media reports that Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen would pick Tainan Mayor William Lai as her premier if she was elected president next year.
The report came as a new opinion poll put the opposition leader far ahead in the elections expected next January.
According to Friday’s edition of the China Times Weekly, Tsai had already decided that she would appoint the popular mayor to become her first premier after taking office on May 20, 2016, if she won the presidential election.
DPP spokesman Cheng Yun-peng said the report amounted to pure speculation and the party would demand a correction from the magazine.
Even though Tsai had not announced a choice of running mate yet, recent opinion surveys showed her in the lead over most potential Kuomintang rivals, giving her a strong chance of becoming Taiwan’s first woman president, reports said.
The magazine interpreted the potential choice of Lai as premier as a result of the strong performance in last November’s local elections of the former DPP faction known as New Tide. The group was expanding its influence on a local level and would want to have its representatives included at the top of the new government in the case of a Tsai victory, the weekly wrote.
Cheng said its reporters had not called the party headquarters for any confirmation or comment on the rumor. DPP leaders were still busy with the selection process for the presidential nominee, so the choice of a premier had not been discussed yet, he added. The official announcement of the DPP’s presidential nominee is scheduled for April 15, though few doubt Tsai will be the choice.
Lai himself said success in elections did not depend on him, and called on the public and on party members to support its presidential candidate and to help Taiwan progress after the elections.
After his successful re-election to a second four-year term as mayor of Tainan last November, some DPP supporters pushed him to challenge Tsai for the presidential nomination, but he declined and announced he did not want to be on the ticket.
CTiTV, a cable news station affiliated to the China Times Weekly, and generally also regarded as pro-KMT, put support for a Tsai-Lai ticket at 53.2 percent opposed to 22.5 percent for the KMT if it chose its new chairman, Eric Liluan Chu, as its presidential candidate with Vice President Wu Den-yih as his running mate. Chu has repeatedly said he was not planning to run for president.
The same poll saw chances of victory in the presidential election for the KMT in general at 9.2 percent and for the DPP at 57.4 percent.


Updated : 2021-09-25 05:58 GMT+08:00