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Taiwan People’s Party proposes poll to select joint opposition candidate

Poll losers should withdraw from presidential race

TPP presidential candidate Ko Wen-je at a campaign event Thursday. 

TPP presidential candidate Ko Wen-je at a campaign event Thursday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The opposition should select a unified presidential candidate by holding an independent opinion poll, with the losing candidates withdrawing from the race, a spokesperson for Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chair Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Friday (Sept. 29).

As Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has maintained a comfortable lead in most opinion polls, suggestions have emerged that all his opponents should join forces to defeat him in the Jan. 13, 2024 elections.

Ko and Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) have been battling for second place, while Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) only recently joined the race. As an independent, the tycoon would need almost 290,000 endorsements from the public before he can appear on the ballot.

A comparative opinion poll for the opposition candidates would be the best method to choose the strongest possible candidate to defeat Lai, said Vicky Chen (陳智菡), a spokesperson for Ko’s campaign office. The losers in the third-party independent poll should withdraw from the campaign, she added.

Ko also supported the formation of a coalition government, including talent from across party lines, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. The former Taipei City mayor also advocated that Taiwan move toward a Cabinet system of government, Chen said.

Ko recently lambasted the KMT for suggesting that Hou would head a joint opposition ticket without holding a poll to decide on the most popular choice. Nevertheless, the TPP leader said he expected that in the end, there would be “harmony” between the “blue” KMT and the “white” TPP camp.