Taiwan’s DPP might plan opinion polls to select presidential candidate from May 27

Final choice of presidential candidate would be announced on June 5

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Ex-Premier William Lai (left) and President Tsai Ing-wen.

Ex-Premier William Lai (left) and President Tsai Ing-wen. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) might plan opinion polls to select a presidential candidate from May 27 through 31, with the nominee to be announced on June 5, media reports said Tuesday (April 30).

Polls originally planned for April were postponed as a five-member mediation panel sought to find an agreement between the two rivals for the presidential nomination, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former Premier William Lai (賴清德).

However, Lai has repeatedly insisted that the only democratic way forward was to allow the primaries in the form of opinion polls to go ahead.

A DPP leadership meeting Wednesday (May 1) was likely to approve a new timetable, including one or two televised speeches on May 24-26, polls on May 27-31, and the official announcement of the winner on June 5, according to the Central News Agency.

The timetable had reportedly been worked out by advisers at party headquarters and would be presented to the Central Standing Committee for discussions at its regular weekly Wednesday afternoon meeting, but suggestions and revisions were still possible, CNA reported.

The elections for president, vice president and all 113 members of the Legislative Yuan have been scheduled for January 11, 2020. Neither the DPP nor the main opposition Kuomintang have decided on a candidate yet, while Taipei City’s independent mayor, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), is still considering whether or not to join the race.