Taipei Mayor Ko says he is preparing to run for presidency in 2024

Focus Taiwan
Date: 09/17/2020
By: Chen Yi-hsuan and Chiang Yi-ching

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je/ CNA photo Sept. 17, 2020

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he is preparing to run for the presidency in 2024, after being asked by a Taipei city councilor on Thursday.

Alan Lee (李柏毅), who is from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, asked Ko whether he was thinking about running for presidency in 2024 during a Taipei City Council hearing.

In response to the question, Ko said, "I am not thinking (about running for presidency in 2024), I am directly preparing."

Ko then said he thought he would have had a better chance of winning the presidency this year as opposed to 2024, but chose not to run because he had to "take the Taipei Music Center, Taipei Performing Arts Center and Taipei Dome into account."    [FULL  STORY]

Government cancels plan to cap out-of-pocket medical device costs

Focus Taiwan
Date: 07/24/2020
By: Chang Ming-hsuan Matthew Mazzetta

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 24 (CNA) Taiwan's government on Friday scrapped a plan to cap patients' out-of-pocket expenses on certain special medical devices, saying it would instead focus on offering price comparisons and using non-legal mechanisms to "persuade" healthcare providers who charge significantly above industry norms.

The plan, which was originally announced on June 8 and was scheduled to take effect on Aug. 1, would have set a maximum price for out-of-pocket copayments for 352 items in eight medical device categories, ranging from pacemakers to intraocular lenses, offered under Taiwan's National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA).

For devices in those categories, the NHIA generally only covers the costs for a basic version, meaning patients currently have to cover the additional amount if they require a product that is more advanced or has additional features.

On June 13, however, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) suspended the plan after a meeting with representatives from the medical sector, who said the policy would prevent high-quality medical devices from entering the market, and ignored the differences in medical quality, techniques and technology used at different hospitals and clinics.    [FULL  STORY]

Veteran DPP statesman highlights importance of 2-party system in Taiwan

Former presidential office advisor says 1-party dominance threatens Taiwan’s democracy

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/11
By: Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Former Presidential Office Advisor Koo Kwang-ming. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Amid concerns that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would dominate Taiwanese politics after the once-mighty Kuomintang (KMT) Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was voted out of office in Kaohsiung, veteran DPP statesman Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) on Wednesday (June 10) stressed the importance of a two-party system to the country's democracy.

Last Saturday (June 6), Han suffered a devastating defeat in the vote to remove him from Kaohsiung City Hall, making him the first municipality leader in Taiwan's history to be recalled. Meanwhile, a recent poll conducted by the independence-leaning Taiwan Brain Trust also indicated that support for the KMT has dropped to a historic low of 9.2 percent.

During a press conference organized by the Taiwan New Constitution Foundation (TNC) on Thursday (June 11), Koo said he is personally opposed to the idea of a one-party system. He pointed out that Taiwan should have at least two legitimate parties to determine its future and that one-party rule would not be beneficial to the island nation's development.

Poll shows Taiwan voters want president without legislative majority

Taiwan's two major political parties are competing to get their presidential nominee elected and to hold a majority

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/12/02
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections are just 40 days away and a

President Tsai Ing-wen (center, front row)

poll conducted by Apple Online appears to show that 44 percent of voters want the new Taiwan president to be from a party that does not have a majority in the country’s legislature.

The two major political parties in Taiwan are the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Kuomintang (KMT), who are working to get their presidential nominee elected and form a majority in the country’s legislature. The Apple Online poll asked if the president should or should not be a member of the majority party, the news outlet reported on Monday (Dec. 2).

Nearly half of those polled, 44 percent, said the president should not be a member of the majority party so “the executive and legislative branches can counterbalance each other.” Meanwhile, 39.9 percent were of the opposite opinion, saying “they should be the same party to facilitate policy making and administration."

Those who didn’t give a definitive answer accounted for 16.1 percent of the survey's respondents. What stood out from the survey is that among those who support President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) reelection, 35.8 percent thought the president should come from a party other than the majority party, the news outlet reported.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen looks set to win re-election in 2020 presidential poll

Japan Times
Date: Nov 30, 2019
By: Ko Shu-Ling

FILE PHOTO: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen waves during Taiwan’s National Day in Taipei, Taiwan, October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Eason Lam/File Photo

TAIPEI – Six months ago, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval ratings were so low many wondered if she would be nominated to run for re-election in January.

Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party suffered a huge defeat in the 2018 local elections, and few gave her much chance against the main opposition Nationalist Party candidate Han Kuo-yu, who was riding a wave of popularity that began the year before when he won the Kaohsiung mayoral election as part of the DPP rout.

Today, however, polls show Tsai leading Han by over 10 points, with most in agreement that, barring a major scandal or economic downturn, Taiwan’s fourth elected, and first female, president is headed for a second term.

Tsai’s rebound is widely attributed to two main causes, both involving China.    [FULL  STORY]

Han comes out in favor of marriage equality in campaign first

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/11/30
By: Yu Hsiang and Matthew Mazzetta

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) presidential nominee Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Saturday

Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜)

came out in favor of marriage equality for the first time, saying he hoped and prayed that people who love each other can choose to become a family.

Several times on his ongoing nationwide "listening tour," audience members have criticized the passage of marriage equality legislation earlier this year, but the candidate has largely resisted explaining his own views on the issue.

At a campaign event in Taipei on Saturday, a young supporter noted the issue's importance to the younger generation, and asked if Han would support efforts by some KMT lawmakers to repeal the legislation.

Han responded that in life — from our family relationships at home, to our friendships at school, to our romantic relationships as adults — attachment and love are inescapable.   [FULL  STORY]

KMT confirms 33 of 34 candidates on legislator-at-large list

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/11/16
By: Yu Hsiang and Matthew Mazzetta

Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) The Kuomintang (KMT) Central Committee approved the party's legislator-at-

Chang Hsien-yao

large candidate list Saturday morning, with the exception of former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), whose No. 17 listing was voted down by a 57-106 margin.

The vote caps a rocky week for the KMT, which first released the list on Wednesday but was criticized for the lack of younger candidates and including candidates with controversial views on China.

Two days later, a revised list was announced, which the party finalized Saturday, approximately two months ahead of Taiwan's Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections.

Legislators-at-large comprise 34 of the 113 seats in the Legislative Yuan, and are selected using a separate ballot on which voters choose their preferred political party, rather than individual candidates tied to electoral districts. Parties receiving at least 5 percent of votes on the at-large ballot are allocated seats in proportion to their vote count.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s 2020 Election Is Not Just a Fight Between Presidential Candidates

Taiwan's 2020 election isn't just about the presidents — it's about the the local elections too.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/10/31
By: By Lev Nachman, UC Irvine

If Taiwan’s election were tomorrow, Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would likely win. Recent polls show she is ahead of Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu by over 12 percent. But it is far too early to assume the race is over — there is still over two months before the election, a lifetime in Taiwanese politics.

Although the majority of international press coverage has focused on Tsai and Han, there is another part of this election that is just as important: the fight for Taiwan’s legislature. This fight for Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (LY) is just as contentious as the presidential race, if not more so. Even if the DPP wins the presidency, it will be stalled for four years if it loses the LY to the KMT.

Taiwan uses a mixed system of first-past-the-post presidential and district candidate elections and proportional representation (PR) party votes. Citizens vote for their president, district representative and the party they wish to support. Since the presidential and district candidate elections are first-past-the-post, there are usually only two candidates running against each other.

The PR vote allows citizens to express their support for a party regardless of who is running in their local district or who is the president. If a party receives the 5-percent threshold, it qualifies for PR seats in parliament. The LY has 113 seats: 73 district election seats, 6 seats reserved for indigenous Taiwanese, and 34 seats reserved for PR.    [FULL  STORY]

With Terry Gou out of Taiwan’s presidential race, chance for KMT to regain power improves, analysts say

  • Incumbent Tsai Ing-wen is facing opposition from a former vice-president, increasing the likelihood of a split vote by proponents of independence
  • Kuomintang candidate Han Kuo-yu is seen as benefiting from both moves

South China Morning Post
Date: 18 Sep, 2019
By: Lawrence Chung  and Kristin Huang  

Foxconn founder Terry Gou’s decision to pull out of Taiwan’s presidential campaign creates a better chance for the mainland-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) to return to power next year, analysts said, as his withdrawal helps forge unity within the opposition party.

That opportunity grew stronger on Tuesday when former vice-president Annette Lu Hsiu-lien announced her bid to run for the island’s top post against incumbent Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and the KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu, observers said.

“Gou has faced strong pressure of [being accused of] creating a split vote within the KMT as he has strong support from those who opt for a better economy and the young voters,” said Wang Kung-yi, a professor of political science at Chinese Culture University in Taipei.

Voting will take place in January.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s KMT lashes out at Foxconn tycoon for jumping ship

Taiwan's KMT ch6astises Foxconn tycoon for leaving the party

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/09/12
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Cheng Mei-hua.
Cheng Mei-hua. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After Foxconn tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘) announced he was leaving the Kuomintang (KMT) party today (Sept. 12), the party expressed its "deep regret" and said that it will deal with the violation of party discipline rules by its former member (Gou).

This morning, the tech tycoon's aide Tsai Chin-yu (蔡沁瑜) announced that he had decided to quit the KMT effective immediately. "The KMT puts party interests ahead of national interests, which goes completely against Mr. Gou’s original intention to return to the party," Tsai quoted Gou as saying.

Gou’s announcement came after a front-page advertisement was released in newspapers today calling for collaboration between Gou and the KMT presidential nominee Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). The advertisement, which was placed by the KMT, included 31 signatures of senior party members, including former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former Vice Presidents Lien Chan (連戰) and Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), the party chairman.

In response, the KMT said that terms used in Gou's statement, such as "pedantic" and "centuries-old Standing Committee" need to be discussed and are not in accordance with the facts. It also countered that the idiom "living in the Cao camp, but having one's heart in the Han camp" (人在曹營心在漢) used to describe the 31 party members who signed the statement was flawed.