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Japanese pundit predicts Lai Ching-te win in Taiwan presidential election

DPP victory may prove costly as party could lose majority in legislature

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Japanese pundit expects Lai Ching-te victory. (Facebook,Ogasawara Yoshiyuki photo) 

Japanese pundit expects Lai Ching-te victory. (Facebook,Ogasawara Yoshiyuki photo) 

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A political pundit said Monday (Oct. 30) that he expects DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) to win Taiwan's upcoming presidential election.

Yoshiyuki Ogasawara, an emeritus professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, made the statement in Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper. He said he was confident the DPP would keep the presidency even though it has been on the defensive, per Economic Daily.

He said that China-Taiwan relations have not been the focus of the campaign, while U.S.-Taiwan relations have taken more prominence. He added the DPP has an advantage as the ruling party in this area, but it is becoming less obvious.

Yoshiyuki said Lai's polling numbers show a gap between him and the second-place contenders. He also said the difficulty of integrating opposition party candidates will favor Lai as the election approaches.

He said Taiwan’s main opposition parties (KMT and TPP) have done well to avoid a "breakup" if they cannot run a joint presidential candidate. He expects them to cooperate more in legislative elections and form a possible post-election alliance.

In November, Taiwan’s three major parties will announce their candidates for at-large legislative seats and vice presidents, as well as register to run for president. Yoshiyuki said the DPP will likely remain the ruling party, but it could lose its majority in the legislature, giving more influence to the opposition parties.

He said China's attitude toward Taiwan’s election is still unclear. He also said the Israel-Palestine war could affect Taiwan's election in unexpected ways and needs close observation.