Approximately three days ago, Taiwan’s opposition announced that there would be a joint effort to plan and present a joint candidate for the next presidential election in January 2024. Against Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the union of the forces of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), which is relevant since this coalition increases the probability of a pro-China government in Taipei if the elections are won.
The news of this move was announced after a meeting in which the KMT and the TPP planned the selection of a joint candidate, despite the fact that Vice President Lai Ching-te leads opinion polls as the PDP candidate, and Hou Yu-ih and Ko Wen-je of the opposition are vying for second place.
The truth is that there are multiple difficulties in the final objective of presenting a single opposition candidate. Former President Ma Ying-jeou, a leading member of the KMT, facilitated the talks, but beyond the incentives there is always a certain degree of disagreement.
The final decision on whether or not to present a joint candidate would be announced this Saturday, and so it was: talks between the KMT and the TPP broke down over a technicality. The biggest problem is that the candidate registration period ends in less than a week, and their failure to do so was a serious blow to those who hoped they would join forces to challenge the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (PDP) in January.
The main reason was that they previously carried out an opinion poll to consult with the population which of the candidates should run on this unity front, and here both parties disagreed on how to interpret it.
However, despite not reaching an agreement yet, in the words of Ko Wen-je of the TPP, the KMT stated that the difference is small and that the talks are not over. It is expected that Taiwan will be able to find a solution to the need to generate a firm opposition in the next elections, fulfilling the promise to continue dialogue with China and restore peace in the Taiwan Strait, a position that currently contrasts with the tense relations between China and Taiwan held by current President Tsai Ing-wen.
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