New Power Party pulls out from Taiwan presidential race

Party will not appoint presidential nominee in Taiwan's 2020 election

New Power Party Secretary-General Wu Pei-yun (Screen capture from NPP's Facebook page)

New Power Party Secretary-General Wu Pei-yun (Screen capture from NPP's Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After months of speculation, the New Power Party (NPP) said on Tuesday (Sept. 24) that it will not appoint a presidential nominee for the election in January.

While the NPP will refrain from running a presidential candidate, it will strive to achieve the most victories possible in the legislative elections, said Wu Pei-yun (吳佩芸), the NPP’s secretary-general, at a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

Wu declined to disclose whether the NPP will instead throw its support behind any of the candidates from other parties. She said the NPP will have a clearer idea after the party’s congress.

Two weeks ago Wu said that nominating legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) for the presidential election would be “one of the options” for the party, and for months NPP Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) has been a source of such speculation. Nevertheless, during the press briefing, Wu refrained from discussing why the party has decided to pull out from the race.

Last week, Huang declared on Facebook that he had no intention to run for the presidency. Despite his popularity among some voters, the latest poll conducted by UDN suggested that Huang has far less support than President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Kuomintang (KMT).

It is likely that Huang will run for the party post of legislator-at-large. According to Wu, the NPP nomination process for legislators-at-large has not yet been finalized.