Taipei, A face-off to determine who will run for president on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket in 2020 has been pushed back as the party has decided to postpone an internal mediation process.
The DPP said its primary will be held in May rather than April, if a mediation process to decide between President Tsai Ing-wen and former Premier Lai Ching-te fails.
The plan was for the ongoing negotiations between Tsai and Lai to continue until April 12, and if no resolution was reached in that process, they would engage in a series of debates April 13-14, which would be followed by a public opinion poll April 15-17.
Based on the results of the poll, the DPP had planned to name its 2020 presidential candidate on April 24.
On Wednesday, however, after a Central Executive Committee meeting of more than three hours, DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai said the party needed more time to mediate between Tsai and Lai.
The committee therefore decided to extend the mediation process and postpone the public opinion survey to a later date, Cho said.
Meanwhile, DPP Secretary-General Lo Wen-jia told reporters after the meeting that the primary will be conducted in line with the usual procedure after May 22, if the mediation efforts fail.
Commenting on the committee's decision, Tsai said in her LINE group that she respects the party's decision.
Lin Chun-hsien a member of the DPP Central Executive Committee and a Lai supporter, said the meeting was successful and consensus was reached.
Meanwhile, opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih declared that he has no intention of running for president.
At a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting, Wu said his goal as party chairman is to select the best candidate for the 2020 election in terms of virtue, ability and experience.
Former Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng who has announced his bid for the presidential election, described Wu's clear statement on the issue as a positive development.
The KMT is also planning to postpone its presidential primary, according to party spokesman Ou-Yang Long
The party will arrange meetings between its chairman and presidential aspirants as soon as possible, including Wang and former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu as well as Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu a popular candidate, the spokesman said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel