Taipei, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Cho Jung-tai said Saturday that a date had yet been scheduled for a meeting between President Tsai Ing-wen and former Premier Lai Ching-te to discuss the 2020 presidential candidacy.
Cho, however, confirmed that a five-member DPP team had already held discussions with Tsai and Lai separately.
After Lai unexpectedly registered early last week to compete in the DPP presidential primary and Tsai did the same a few days later, the ruling DPP assembled a five-member team to try and find common ground between the two of them.
The group comprises DPP Chairman Cho, Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu Premier Su Tseng-chang DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Su said the DPP has launched the mediation effort to see if common ground can be found to decide on a winning ticket for the 2020 presidential election. "Anything is possible," Su said when asked whether there was chance of a Tsai-Lai ticket, as Vice President Chen Chien-jen has said he will not seek a second term.
Lai, meanwhile, praised Chen's efforts to help implement the reforms introduced by the Tsai administration.
Speaking at book signing in Tainan, Lai said he had already met with the five-member mediation team and explained to them that he was making a bid for the DPP candidacy mainly because of the party's precarious position since its heavy losses in the local elections last November.Lai said many DPP grassroots supporters are worried that not only would the party lose the presidency and its majority in the Legislature, but the country's sovereignty and democracy would face unprecedented challenges.
Even more worrying, he said, was the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) proposal for a peace accord with China, which has caused public concern about Taiwan's future.
At an event in Taipei organized by a Washington-based pro-Taiwan independence group, President Tsai gave her reasons for seeking reelection, saying she wanted to see the realization of her reforms and would take the pressure from naysayers rather than backtrack on her policies.
"I'm not afraid to get injured, but Taiwan's sovereignty cannot be injured," Tsai said in her address to the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA).
Commenting Vice President Chen's decision not to run on the presidential ticket next year, Tsai said she respected his position and that Taiwan would have to find the "best ticket" to take it on the right path into the future.As history has shown, solidarity will help secure victory and there has never been an exception to that approach, she said.
According to the DPP's plan, if the mediation team fails to find a solution to settle the issue through negotiations by April 12, a primary based on opinion polls will be initiated.
The candidates will present their views to the public on April 13 and 14, and opinion polls will be conducted April 15-17 as part of the process of selecting the DPP candidate.
The DPP is expected to announce the official nomination of a presidential candidate on April 24.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel