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Taiwan vice president one step closer to DPP presidential nomination

DPP scheduled to name Lai as its candidate on April 12

The DPP is set to name Vice President Lai Ching-te as its presidential candidate on April 12. 

The DPP is set to name Vice President Lai Ching-te as its presidential candidate on April 12.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday (March 22) approved the qualifications of its chairman, Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), to run for president, with the official nomination scheduled for April 12.

As Lai was the only person to register as a candidate, the ruling party will not organize primaries to decide on a candidate, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported.

As part of the DPP’s selection process, its Central Executive Committee on Wednesday reviewed whether the registered candidate qualified to be the party’s presidential nominee. The conclusion was positive, paving the way for the committee to name Lai as the DPP’s presidential candidate at its next meeting on April 12.

Even though Lai serves as the party chairman, he was not present at the committee meeting to avoid a conflict of interest, according to the RTI report. The session lasted less than 10 minutes, with all members agreeing with the results of the review and with the cancelation of the primaries.

The change allowed the primaries to decide on the DPP’s legislative candidates to be scheduled for April 17, one week earlier than initially planned. The elections for president, vice president, and for 113 members of the Legislative Yuan will take place on Jan. 13, 2024.

The main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), announced Wednesday it would select its presidential candidate without primaries, but by reaching a consensus within party ranks. The three most likely contenders, according to media reports, were New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), and KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫).

A recent opinion poll saw rising public support for Lai at 36.2%, Hou falling to 24.8%, and a potential third candidate, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), stable at 19%.