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Taiwan opposition parties fail to reach cooperation agreement after talks

Taiwan People's Party rejects Kuomintang's leadership primary idea

Hou Yu-yi and Ko Wen-je sit next to each other in August. (CNA photo)

Hou Yu-yi and Ko Wen-je sit next to each other in August. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s two main opposition parties have failed to reach a consensus on who would lead a joint presidential ticket after negotiations on Saturday (Oct. 14).

Following the negotiations, the Kuomintang (KMT) said that primaries should be held to decide the leader, a plan which Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) rejected, per CNA. This is despite Ko receiving more support than Kuomintang candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) in most election polls.

Ko’s TPP said on Sunday (Oct. 15) that holding a primary would be insufficiently representative, pose difficulties registering voters, and be too rushed.

The TPP said at least 5.5 million people would need to vote in a primary to truly represent public opinion. The party said that if the KMT’s primary method is adopted, only half of both parties’ members would be required to vote, which is not enough.

Logistics are also of concern to the TPP, who said that in-person voting would be needed to avoid fraudulent ballots being cast, and that this would be difficult to organize. Finally, it said the KMT’s proposed timing for a primary, slated for Nov. 10, would be too soon to manage properly.

The TPP said that to adopt the KMT’s primary method would mean that tens of thousands might determine an outcome for tens of millions, and as such, it would not be an open nor democratic process, as the KMT suggested.