Taiwan President: National affairs come first

Primaries form part of DPP internal proceedings: Tsai

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President Tsai Ing-wen at a cyber security event Tuesday.

President Tsai Ing-wen at a cyber security event Tuesday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - National affairs come first, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) reportedly told Cabinet members after former Premier William Lai (賴清德) registered Monday to run against her in the presidential primaries for the Democratic Progressive Party.

Tsai has already announced her intention to run for re-election, and Lai’s bid surprised many inside and outside the ruling party. The DPP will announce its choice for presidential candidate next month, while the election takes place in January 2020.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, Tsai emphasized the primaries formed part of the DPP’s internal proceedings, the Liberty Times reported.

She said that on Monday, she had told all members of her government team that “national affairs came first” as their priority, and should not be influenced by other matters.

The president said the government needed to tell citizens that the country had changed a lot since the 2014 Sunflower Movement. The country was moving on the right track, and it was absolutely possible to continue on that road, the Liberty Times reported Tsai as saying.

She also emphasized the need for her to travel overseas and spread the news about Taiwan’s development on an international basis. Tsai has planned a visit to three allies in the South Pacific, Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands, for later this month.