Taiwan ex-Premier Lai accepts President Tsai’s DPP primary victory

Tainan mayor urges president to meet Lai

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Ex-Premier Lai commenting in Tainan on President Tsai's DPP primary victory (screenshot of FTV broadcast).

Ex-Premier Lai commenting in Tainan on President Tsai's DPP primary victory (screenshot of FTV broadcast).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Ex-Premier William Lai (賴清德) said he accepted President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) victory in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primaries announced earlier Thursday (June 13).

In the opinion polls conducted June 10-12, Tsai received 35.68 percent and Lai 27.48 percent, according to a DPP announcement Thursday noon.

Speaking in Tainan, the city where he served as mayor before becoming premier, after shaking hands with supporters on his way in, Lai thanked his voters and apologized for being unable to win.

He also said he accepted the outcome and called on all his supporters to back President Tsai to run for a second and final term, the Liberty Times reported.

Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) called on the president to meet with Lai as soon as possible to bring the different opinions within the party together.

At the DPP news conference in Taipei announcing the poll results, party chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said he would immediately start work to reunite supporters and turn into campaign mode for the January 11, 2020 presidential and legislative elections.

In the opinion polls comparing Tsai and Lai separately with potential opponents Kaohsiung City Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Kuomintang and independent Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the DPP candidate won each time, reports said.

If Tsai were the nominee, she would receive 35.68 percent against 24.51 percent for Han and 22.70 percent for Ko, while if the DPP chose Lai, he would lead at 27.48 percent against 27.38 percent for Ko and 23.47 percent for Han, according to the Liberty Times.