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Presidential candidates prepare for debates

KMT and DPP argue over which debate should come first

Presidential candidates prepare for debates

Presidential candidates prepare for debates

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With official registrations wrapped up, the presidential candidates started arguing Saturday about the possibility of live televised debates, with the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party disputing which organizer should come first.
During the past week, People First Party Chairman James Soong, KMT Chairman Eric Liluan Chu and DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen visited the Central Election Commission with their running mate to register for the January 16 election, which coincide with legislative elections.
Since direct elections were introduced in 1996, the presidential contenders have always participated in live televised debates in which they faced each other as well as academics and journalists.
However, on Saturday, the two main parties argued about which group should come first in organizing a debate.
The KMT reportedly favored an event to be held by the four major Chinese-language newspapers, the Central News Agency and Public Television Service, while the DPP said that cable TV station Sanlih had already offered an invitation to Tsai for a debate a year ago.
Speaking at an event Saturday for people from Tainan living in Taipei, Tsai said that there were many potential organizers but time was in short supply, so first one needed to arrange the order of the events. The experience from previous debates also had to be taken into account, but how the negotiations between the organizers and the parties developed was somebody that would evolve, she said.
Tsai has been leading opinion polls for the presidential election for months. In the latest example, a survey conducted by the Chinese-language United Daily News, Tsai received 46 percent, Chu 19 percent and Soong 9 percent. The figures were roughly similar to other recent polls, including a Taiwan Indicator Survey Research poll presented on Friday. Observers concluded that the choice of vice-presidential running mates had not had any impact on the candidates’ support levels.