Taiwan’s KMT to pick presidential candidate by July 16

The party will not organize debates and exclude smartphone users from opinion polls

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/05/15
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Kuomintang (KMT) announced Wednesday (May 15) it will

KMT spokesman Ouyang Long. (By Central News Agency)

use opinion polls without smartphones to select its presidential candidate by July 16 at the latest.

The contenders will not have to engage in televised debates with each other, but will be able to offer their views to the public separately, the Central News Agency reported.

Despite demands by some candidates, the party’s Central Standing Committee decided Wednesday that the nominee for the January 11, 2020 presidential election would be selected by opinion polls only, with no separate vote by party members.

Five polling organizations will be asked to conduct the surveys for at least 3,000 valid responses each, but they will only use landlines to reach respondents, and not smartphones. The issue has recently divided the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) pushing for the inclusion of cellphones, while ex-Premier William Lai (賴清德) has opposed changing the rules while the race is already underway.    [FULL  STORY]

KMT to pick presidential candidate by means of nationwide poll

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/05/15
By: Yu Hsiang, Liu Kuan-ting, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping and Emerson 

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) decided Wednesday to change

Two of KMT’s possible presidential candidates, Chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Terry Gou (right) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu. CNA file photo

the format of its presidential primary for the 2020 election to a single nationwide opinion poll and to name its candidate by late July.

The KMT Central Standing Committee approved the rules, guidelines and timetable for the nomination process for the 15th presidential election at meeting earlier in the day.

Under the newly adopted rules, the party has dispensed with the part of its primary that comprised a vote only by its registered members.

Instead it will pick its 2020 presidential candidate based solely on the results of a public opinion poll that will be commissioned to five different polling institutions, each with a sample size of not less than 3,000, the KMT said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s 2020 DPP Primary Puts Tsai Ing-wen and Party Unity Under Pressure

The DPP primary has devolved into a slugfest over procedure and party identity.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/04/30
By: Courtney Donovan Smith

Credit: Reuters / TPG

From the moment William Lai (賴清德) registered in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential primary to challenge President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election bid on March 18, tensions began to divide the party and its top brass was left scrambling to attempt to contain the damage.

His entrance into the race appeared to have caught many of the top people in the party by surprise, including key people in his own famously disciplined New Tide factional wing of the party. This surprise was compounded by what many consider the sheer audacity of the act: It is rare to challenge a sitting incumbent in a primary, and unprecedented to challenge a sitting president. Even more shocking to some is that William Lai had only just a few months prior headed President Tsai’s cabinet as her premier – and, as premier, he had stated he would support President Tsai in the upcoming 2020 election.

For many in the top echelons of the DPP, this – as they perceived it – act of betrayal to party unity and the president was unconscionable. The party swiftly moved to delay the primary – simply an opinion poll conducted among a sample of Taiwanese residents, regardless of party affiliation – for a few days to buy time for a hastily convened group of five top party figures to try and broker a compromise while the president was on an overseas trip. 34, or half of the sitting DPP legislative caucus issued a declaration of support for the president within 48 hours. Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) announced he would not run in 2020, leaving the VP slot vacant. Calls for party unity echoed through the halls of power and throughout the pro-DPP partisan media. Polls hastily held “proved” (polls being widely considered politically influenced or somewhat manipulated, though not entirely fabricated, in Taiwan) that a Tsai-Lai ticket would be more formidable than either candidacy alone.    [FULL  STORY]

President, Hon Hai chairman trade barbs on democracy, economy

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/04/21
By: Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao

Taipei, April 21 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) exchanged verbal shots on

President Tsai Ing-wen and Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (right)

democracy and the economy with business tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘), who is seeking the opposition Kuomintang’s (KMT) nomination in the 2020 presidential race.

Tsai, who is facing a major challenge within her own Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for its nomination in the presidential election, hit back at Gou after he said recently that “you cannot eat democracy,” branding him as someone who does not understand democratic values.

Democracy is the value that Taiwan’s people have gained after more than 50 years of effort, and without it the Taiwan that makes people feel proud does not exist, she said in a Facebook post Sunday.

“We have never ignored the economy because of democracy,” she said, stressing that the “responsibility of a responsible political figure” is enabling people to build a better life under a free and democratic system and that presidential candidates in a democratic nation had to have democratic credentials.    [FULL  STORY]

DPP chairmanship by-election scheduled for Jan. 6

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/12/05
By: Lu Hsin-hui and Shih Hsiu-chuan

Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will hold a by-

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) / CNA file photo

election on Jan. 6 for a chairperson to replace President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who stepped down from the post in the wake the party’s defeat in the Nov. 24 local government elections.

The Jan. 6 date was decided Wednesday at a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee, according to DPP spokesman Johnny Lin (林琮盛).

Lin said registration for the by-election will be held Dec. 10-14, and the candidates’ qualification will be screened by the committee Dec. 19.

Those selected to compete for the party chairmanship will be expected to make a live television presentation of their policies Dec. 30, he said.    [SOURCE]

One third of nine-in-one election staff had no election experience

A report from the CEC says election work was a first for a third of polling station attendants

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/12/02
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Reporter

A photograph at one election booth (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Reports say one third of polling station staff during the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24 were new.

According to CNA, the Central Election Committee submitted a report to the Legislative Yuan that stated a third of all attendees at polling stations had never worked an election before.

The public were heavily dissatisfied with how the election was handled. Many reported waiting in line for hours to vote, as well as misconduct in stations and surrounding areas.

Some were told they would be able to vote in the local elections but not the referendums, as the relevant papers were no longer available. People also complained that the CEC posted results too early, before many had even had the opportunity to vote.    [FULL  STORY]

Push to use name ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Chinese Taipei’ at Tokyo Olympics falters

Number of voters stays just under the required 25 %, while opponents outnumber supporters

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/11/24
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Voters lining up Saturday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A referendum in favor of using the name ‘Taiwan’ instead of the current ‘Chinese Taipei’ to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics looks to be faltering Saturday, not only because more voters opposed the proposal, but also because it looked like not enough voters had cast ballots.

The result of a referendum is only valid if 25 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballot, and if more are in favor of it than oppose it.

However, by 11:30 p.m. Saturday, only 24.3 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballot on the issue, according to provisional figures from the Central Election Commission.

Even if the total eventually exceeded 25 percent, the question still received more negative answers than positive ones. A total of 4,122,738 voters agreed that Taiwan should drop the name ‘Chinese Taipei’ and just use ‘Taiwan’ at international sports events, and specifically at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.    [FULL  STORY]

Japan regrets Taiwanese vote to maintain food import ban

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/25
By: Elaine Hou and Elizabeth Hsu

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Japan expressed regret that Taiwan’s public voted on Saturday to back a referendum to maintain the ban on imports of agricultural products and food from areas in Japan affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster on March 11, 2011.

Officials at the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, the organization that represents the interests of Japan in Taiwan, voiced their regret when asked by CNA about the result of Saturday’s referendum.

The referendum asked voters if they agree the government should maintain the ban on imports of agricultural products and food from areas in Japan affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster on March 11, 2011, including Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures.

Taiwanese voters supported the measure by a 78-22 percent margin among the nearly 10 million valid votes cast.    [FULL  STORY]

2018 ELECTIONS: KMT retains hold on New Taipei City

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 25, 2018 
By Chen Yu-fu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

People yesterday wait in line to vote at a polling station in Taipei.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Taiwanese voted in 10 referendums alongside yesterday’s nine-in-one local elections — the greatest number of referendums held simultaneously since the plebiscite mechanism was implemented in 2004.

The referendums covered a broad range of issues, including the definition of marriage in the Civil Code, the ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures imposed after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011 and changing the national team’s name from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

A total of 19,757,067 people were eligible to vote on yesterday’s referendums, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said.

Amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) in December last year lowered the threshold needed to pass a referendum.    [FULL  STORY]

ANALYSIS: The China Fake News Election Threat

Taiwan and the freedom of its elections is under threat from a barrage of fake news from China.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/24
By I-fan Lin

Since 2016, when Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)

Credit: Taiwan Presidential Office

was elected as Taiwan’s President after the pro-independent Sunflower Movement, waves of disinformation have engulfed traditional and social media platforms in Taiwan — and many can be traced back to China.

Taiwan has been ruled independently for decades, and Tsai decided to reject the “One China, different interpretation,” otherwise known as “the 1992 Consensus,” an agreement signed in 1992 between the former ruling Kuomingtang and Beijing that helped improve the strained relationship between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China.

Since Tsai’s decision, that relationship has taken a turn for the worse. Beijing has suspended diplomaticcontact with Taiwan, imposed economic sanctions, forced other countries to cut ties with Taiwan and has bolstered its military presence in the Taiwan strait.

In parallel, a series of campaigns of fake news have captured Taiwanese media, with experts tracing several of these stories back to China.    [FULL  STORY]