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Taiwan People's Party doubts need for new meeting with KMT

53 minutes of 'secret talks' produced no results

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

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

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Another meeting makes no sense unless the Kuomintang (KMT) comes up with a concrete proposal, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chair Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said after talks with KMT Chair Eric Chu (朱立倫) and its presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) on Tuesday (Oct. 31) failed to produce results.

Chu invited Ko and Hou for the “secret talks” at an undisclosed location Tuesday night, but 53 minutes of discussions failed to bring the two sides closer together. The parties wanted to find a consensus on a joint candidate for the Jan. 13, 2024 presidential election but have been sparring about the method needed to choose that candidate.

Commenting on the meeting Wednesday (Nov. 1), Ko said Chu needed to work out a concrete proposal first, otherwise another meeting would be useless, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. The TPP leader and presidential candidate emphasized the need for a clear and honest selection method.

Since a meeting between KMT and TPP delegations on Oct. 14, the two parties have been arguing about different ways of choosing a joint candidate. While Ko started with a proposal for opinion polls, the KMT countered with open primaries with voters heading for polling stations in early November.

However, Ko said time had run out for the primary formula, or for a combination of polls and primaries. Both sides agreed they should sit together to work out a solution, but so far, there has only been agreement on cooperation in the legislative elections also scheduled for Jan. 13.

Hou said Wednesday there should be no insistence on old methods, but the party leaders should find new formulas instead to take them forward, per CNA. He expressed hope that TPP and KMT could still find a solution and cooperate to defeat Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the election.