Taiwan President Tsai defeats opponent William Lai in party primary

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) - After nearly three months of an election marred by party infighting, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen won 35.6 percent of the votes, while former premier William Lai obtained 27.4 percent.

The 8.2 percent gap between the two candidates means that President Tsai will once again represent the ruling DPP in the 2020 presidential election. It was the first time in the party’s history that a sitting president seeking re-election faced a challenge from within their own party.

Nobody for sure believed that someone would challenge President Tsai, until the former premier expressed his wish to register for the primary election which was first slated on March 18.

The primary poll compared the popularity of the two candidates against the popularity of both independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) who are believed to be the main opponents in the election.

Speaking at a press conference in Taipei, DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai said that Tsai receives up to 36 percent of support if she faces Han Kuo-yu (24.5 percent) and Ko Wen-je (22.7 percent) in the 2020 presidential election.

If the former premier represents the party, Lai would receive 27.4 percent, while Han and Ko would obtain 23.4 percent and 27.3 percent, respectively. The degree of support in the polls further show that the DPP would win regardless of whether they choose Tsai or Lai, even though Tsai would have a bigger lead.

After the results of the poll are reviewed and confirmed by both sides, the results will be officially announced by the DPP chairman. Then, the DPP will hold a central executive meeting on June 19 to formally announce the nomination of President Tsai.

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