Taiwan premier hints Taoyuan mayor could be next president

President Tsai still has to name a running mate for the January 2020 election

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Premier Su Tseng-chang (left) and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Taoyuan MRT Green Line.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (left) and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Taoyuan MRT Green Line. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At the groundbreaking ceremony for a Taoyuan Mass Rapid Transit line Friday (October 11), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he expected the city’s mayor, Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) could attend the opening of the completed line in the capacity of president.

As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has not yet named a running mate for the January 11, 2020 election, the premier’s remarks fueled speculation that she might pick Cheng, reports said.

Many supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have called on Tsai to select former Premier William Lai (賴清德) as her vice-presidential candidate after his participation in party primaries earlier this year. Lai is scheduled to travel to the United States next week to promote Tsai’s re-election bid with Taiwanese communities on the east and west coast.

At Friday’s ceremony for the Green Line, Su described the mayor of Taoyuan City as “talented” and as “a man with vision,” the Central News Agency reported. In opinion surveys rating all of Taiwan’s city mayors and county magistrates, Cheng usually finishes in the top five.

As the mayor was listening in the audience, Su tried to foresee the future. “I can predict, when the Green Line will have been completed, there is a strong possibility that Cheng Wen-tsan will chair the ceremony as president,” CNA quoted the premier as saying.

The line will link Bade with the Taoyuan district and is scheduled to be completed in 2026. If Tsai wins re-election next January, her second and final term will last until 2024.