TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held a party congress and rally at the Grand Hotel Taipei on Sunday afternoon (July 16), where President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) gave an official public endorsement for the party’s 2024 presidential candidate, current Vice-President Lai Ching-te (賴清德).
Tsai expressed her enthusiastic support for Lai, stating that after four years of working side by side, “now, Lai Ching-te is ready!” She said that ever since Lai’s primary challenge four years ago, she knew Lai would play an important role in Taiwan’s future.
In reference to the 2016 election, Tsai said “Just like eight years ago, I still believe in democracy. I believe in the people, I believe in Taiwan, and I believe in Lai Ching-te!”
With his experience in local politics, the central government, and international affairs, Tsai said Lai’s resume makes him more than qualified to lead the country. She expressed confidence that Lai can handle the responsibility as president and lead Taiwan forward.
Tsai also touted her administration’s many successes in forging new international partnerships over the past seven years, and noted that a government must possess the qualities of trustworthiness, composure, and stability to safeguard and further develop Taiwan’s democratic society. In regards to criticism and any failure to meet the public’s expectations, Tsai pledged that the party will continue to reflect on problems and earnestly address setbacks and challenges as a trustworthy party.
DPP officials and party nominees on stage at the Grand Hotel Taipei, July 17. (CNA photo)
At the start of the event, Tsai, Lai and a host of DPP leaders entered the venue wearing matching baseball-style jackets, waving the party flag. After watching a video on the history of the party, nominees standing for election were each introduced one by one.
By the end of the event, the stage was packed with DPP legislators, nominees, and current cabinet officials. In addition to Tsai and Lai, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), and President of the Legislative Yuan You Si-kun (游錫堃) were also present.
Lai Ching-te also addressed the audience at the event, declaring that Taiwan must rally its social forces to protect the country’s sovereignty in the face of threats from China. “We can only resist the threat from China if we are united! Only by upholding democracy can we safeguard Taiwan’s future!” said Lai.
Lai noted that the DPP has worked hard for Taiwan and the welfare of the people over the last eight years. He pledged that the party will continue to adhere to its core values of democracy and liberty, and to operate with honesty and diligence for the betterment of Taiwanese society.
Despite difficulties and mistakes, Lai said that as long as the party remains united and adheres to its founding ideals, then it will be able to overcome any difficulties that arise. He expressed his confidence that the people of Taiwan still trust the DPP’s leadership and will show their support again on January 13, 2024.
The DPP declared “United in Democracy, Standing for Taiwan” (民主團結挺台灣) as the party’s rallying cry ahead of the national elections set for January. Footage of the event can be viewed on YouTube.