Lai rebuts rumor Taiwan's President Tsai would be ousted after re-election

Lai was preferred choice in primary among those pushing for Taiwan's formal independence

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William Lai (left) and Tsai Ing-wen

William Lai (left) and Tsai Ing-wen (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vice presidential candidate William Lai (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has refuted claims that the pro-independence camp would seek to remove incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) from office once she wins her re-election bid in the presidential election just five days away.

Lai, who spoke while rallying support in New Taipei on Monday (Jan. 6), denounced the allegation made by Tainan Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) of the Kuomintang (KMT) party the previous day as nonsense, reported NOWnews.

Hsieh alleged that DPP members who favor formal independence for Taiwan have been conspiring with each other against Tsai. He conjured up a scenario where Tsai could be ousted and replaced by Lai through political maneuvering after she successfully receives a fresh mandate from the electorate in the elections taking place on Saturday.

Lai brushed off the assertion, saying it was merely another attempt by the DPP’s political foes to drive a wedge between him and Tsai. He said Hsieh is an old acquaintance who is known for his “absurd” remarks, according to the report.

Lai, who is regarded as being more in line with the pro-independence camp, was engaged in a bitter battle with Tsai a few months ago in the party’s primary. He had challenged Tsai’s capability to run the country, saying the DPP’s rout in the 2018 local elections indicated the Taiwanese people's disenchantment with President Tsai.