TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) suggests opinion polls to choose a single opposition candidate, but they are different from Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chair Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) proposal, a senior aide said Friday (Nov. 10).
Following almost a month of exchanges, the Kuomintang (KMT) and the TPP have failed to reach agreement on a selection method to pick a joint candidate to face Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德). The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate has been leading most opinion polls.
Ma suggested opinion polls comparing different combinations of candidates with the potential DPP ticket, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. On the opposition side, the polls should consider Ko as the presidential candidate and KMT candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) as his running mate, as well as vice versa, Ma said.
The two possible opposition tickets should be pitted against Lai with Taiwan’s representative in the United States, Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴). Even though the DPP chair has not announced his choice of running mate yet, he acknowledged that Hsiao was one of six possibilities.
Ma’s office said it had submitted the proposal to KMT headquarters and to Hou’s campaign team. Hou said he respected all opinions, while emphasizing negotiations between political parties were ongoing.
A KMT spokesperson said the party welcomed Ma’s ideas, but emphasized the difference with Ko’s proposals. The TPP candidate put too much importance on the competition with Hou, according to the KMT.
Ko’s campaign team welcomed Ma’s suggestions, while pointing out that success in the Jan. 13, 2024 elections would depend on centrist public opinion, per RTI. There was still time to organize opinion polls, and the choice of polling companies and methods could still be discussed, Ko’s spokesperson said.