Lai offers support to Taiwan President if she defeats Kaohsiung mayor in DPP primary poll

If he beats Han and Han beats Tsai, the party should support his presidential bid: Lai

Ex-Premier William Lai presenting his proposal at DPP headquarters Wednesday evening (May 22).

Ex-Premier William Lai presenting his proposal at DPP headquarters Wednesday evening (May 22). (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following a failure by the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Central Executive Committee (CEC) to find a solution, ex-Premier William Lai (賴清德) said he would support President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) unconditionally if she defeated Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the primary polls or if he lost from him.

His offer came after more than two hours of debate within the CEC about the formula to select a candidate for the January 2020 presidential election. Tsai wanted to include cellphones in the polls and hold them in June, while Lai was a proponent of pure landline polls according to existing rules to be conducted in May.

Appearing at DPP headquarters after the meeting ended, Lai said there should be comparative polls pitting them against Han, the Kuomintang (KMT) mayor who has been riding high in general opinion polls. The KMT also still has to conduct polls to select its presidential nominee.

Lai said that if he defeated Han in the DPP polls and Han beat Tsai, the party leadership should nominate him as its candidate. However, if he failed to beat Han, or if President Tsai won more support than Han in the DPP poll, then he would fully support Tsai to run for a second and final term, the Central News Agency reported.

Officially, the DPP’s CEC will meet again next Wednesday, May 29, for another round of discussions about the holding of primary polls.

While the CEC met Wednesday afternoon, over a hundred DPP supporters gathered outside to voice their concern over the future of party democracy. They demanded fair primaries to decide on a candidate.