DPP plans to make nice with Taipei Mayor's base ahead of Taiwan election

At strategy meeting, DPP leaders emphasize unified platform to boost morale, voter turnout

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File photo: DPP Politician Lin Hsi-yao

File photo: DPP Politician Lin Hsi-yao (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- At a meeting of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) attended by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Friday (June 21), former Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀), an important organizer of Tsai’s re-election campaign, spoke candidly about the party’s position towards potential rival Taipei Mayor, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

According to a Newtalk report, Lin says the DPP at present should not attack or challenge the Taipei Mayor, who has not yet announced whether he will enter the race. Before he has announced, DPP should avoid actions or statements that might offend fans of the Taipei Mayor, said Lin.

Currently, the party’s focus should be on uniting DPP supporters behind President Tsai, to prepare for a Kuomintang (KMT) challenger, said Lin. Before the KMT’s nominee is announced in July, the DPP should focus on building a united and confident base.

While recognizing that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s popularity appears to be waning (韓國瑜), Lin suggested that there are still many KMT supporters who will refuse to vote if Han is not picked as the KMT’s nominee.

Lin also noted that cultivating support among the DPP’s base and promoting the party’s message among centrist voters will be especially important if Taipei Mayor Ko joins the race, as Ko will hope to draw voters from both the blue and green camps. If Ko does enter the race and succeeds, speculated Lin, his victory would have serious consequences for the future of the DPP.

Therefore, it is in the DPP’s interest to boost morale, and strengthen support behind President Tsai to minimize the amount of support Ko will be able to draw from the green camp.

To maximize party solidarity and develop a unified platform, several DPP members at the meeting noted the importance of former Premier William Lai as a unifying element, reports NewTalk.

Likewise, many party members also shared their view that the party must be selective of the candidates it puts forward for the local and national legislatures, in order to ensure maximum turnout and support for President Tsai.

The consensus of the meeting was that now is the time for strategizing at the local level.

Other officials at the meeting emphasized the importance of social media to promote the party’s message and the need to use social media to combat fake news and misinformation in the lead up to the general election.