TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After more than two hours of heated discussions Wednesday (May 22) afternoon, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Central Executive Committee (CEC) ended without agreement about the selection process for a presidential nominee, while, according to the Liberty Times, presidential hopeful William Lai (賴清德) visited the party headquarters.
At the center of the dispute was the formula to select the ruling party’s candidate for the January 2020 presidential election.
While outside, more than 100 DPP supporters came to express their concern about the fairness of the procedure, inside, supporters of ex-Premier Lai and of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) argued about the need to include cellphones in the opinion polls to select the candidate and whether or not the polls should take place in May or June.
The Tsai camp has been favoring smartphone surveys and polls in June, after the June 7 Dragon Boat holiday, while Lai wants to stick to the existing landline polls and see them conducted as soon as possible.
After more than two hours, DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) made a forceful plea to keep the existing opinion poll regulations, saying not doing so meant the original March 13 meeting when the same CEC had approved them, had been mere “child’s play,” reports said.
Following his statement, Cho called a break and walked out of the meeting, with officials announcing later that the CEC would again meet next Wednesday (May 29) to find a way out of the stalemate.
Shortly afterward, Lai reportedly arrived on the 9th floor of the DPP headquarters building, the same floor where the CEC held its meetings, the Liberty Times reported.
In an unprecedented move, the group had earlier agreed to broadcast its proceedings live over the Internet, which several media, including the Taiwan News, did.
According to the main proposal from the DPP leadership on the table, landline and cell phone samples would have each accounted for a 50-percent share in the primary’s poll. The surveys would have taken place from June 10 to 14 and adopt dual-frame sampling.
Another issue at stake was the comparison of DPP contenders with those of other parties such as Kuomintang (KMT) Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).