William Lai casts doubt on Tsai Ing-wen’s sincerity after they clash on TV

Lai said the president is being evasive about respecting the result of the DPP’s primary election, adding public opinion matters most

William Lai (CNA photo)

William Lai (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held its first and only televised policy presentation for the party’s two presidential primary contenders, on Saturday (June 8).

The incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former Premier William Lai (賴清德) both expressed their views on how they will lead Taiwan if they are elected as president. They each answered questions from experts after giving a speech.

In a press conference after the event, Lai said he was disappointed that Tsai refused to promise she would accept the outcome of the primary if he wins. He also challenged the “one plus one equals more than two” formula proposed by Tsai, when she called for joint efforts and unity among party members.

“If she is the first ‘one’ in the formula, who is the second ‘one’?” asked Lai.

When asked whether she would support Lai in the 2020 presidential election if she loses the primary, Tsai replied, “As a member of the DPP, I must follow the party’s decisions. Is my answer not clear enough?”

Her evasiveness raises doubts, said Lai. “If `one plus one equals more than two’ means the maximization of synergy,” said Lai, “then whoever loses must support the candidate that wins in the primary race.”

Lai stressed he would respect the views of DPP members, as well as the outcome of the primary. Nevertheless, the DPP must bear in mind that party unity and support from the public are what will bring victory in 2020, Lai said.