Taiwan ex-Premier presses for early primaries

A DPP meeting next week should decide to hold the opinion polls by the end of May: Lai

Ex-Premier William Lai visited Chiayi County Saturday.

Ex-Premier William Lai visited Chiayi County Saturday. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – “They moved the target after I shot off the arrow,” former Premier William Lai (賴清德) said Saturday (May 18), complaining about President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) alleged reluctance to hold opinion polls soon to pick a presidential nominee.

Tsai and Lai both registered last March for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primaries, but disputes over how to conduct them have still not led to a clear timetable.

Earlier in the week, the two sides agreed on Tsai’s proposal that the selection system should be changed to include cellphone users in the polls.

Since then, Lai has been asking to conduct those polls by the end of May, but a Tsai campaigner said Saturday that it would be early if they could even be held the week after the Dragon Boat Festival on June 7.

Speaking during a trip to Chiayi County Saturday, Lai said he hoped a DPP Central Executive Committee meeting on May 22 would come up with a timetable for the opinion polls, the Central News Agency reported.

He said the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) used to shoot off an arrow first before even starting to draw a target, while now it had drawn the target before even shooting the arrow.

Lai described his situation as even worse, since he had shot off his arrow first, but now the target was being moved.

Representatives for the two candidates recently also agreed to participate in two televised policy presentations, where they will face questions from reporters and social groups. The two events will be spaced one week apart, but the dates have not been determined yet.