Leaders of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan’s People Party (TPP)  will have a bilateral talk on Wednesday (15th) to figure out if they will go for a joint ticket in the 2024’s presidential race. Both parties will announce to the press about the result shortly after the talk.

The meeting will take place at the Ma Ying-jeou Foundation in Taipei, with former President Ma Ying-jeou going to attend as the witness of this historical cross-party negotiation between KMT and TPP, according to the press releases issued by both parties.

The leaders will include the KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih, TPP chairman and presidential nominee Ko Wen-je, and KMT Chairman Eric Chu, along with Ma.

After a month of deadlock over who is going to be “the strongest candidate” to ride over the joint ticket, the two parties have agreed to determine the order through public polls, as neither of the parties have voiced out the willingness to play “a second chair.”

According to the KMT’s Chu, the contents and rules of the polling will be determined in the upcoming bilateral talk between the KMT and the TPP, as currently the two parties have split views over the methodology of the polls. 

The TPP Chairman and candidate Ko has been insisting on polls targeted at mobile phone users with his wide support from the youngsters, while the KMT chairman Chu has proposed combining candidate polls with surveys of preferred party, as the KMT is more traditionally established and has a rigid supporting base in Taiwan.

Ko appealed to the KMT via a press stand-up yesterday, emphasizing that cross-party cooperation should be “a joint competition” instead of a “a knock-out competition.” “The individual’s interests shall be put under the will of people and the country,” he said, urging Ko not to return to the original starting point.

In the first “cross-party negotiation” on October 30th, the KMT and the TPP have made the consensus to collaborate in the upcoming presidential and legislative elections to maximize the number of seats they will hold in the Legislative Yuan, and to seek possibility of a joint ticket in order to oust the current forerunner, the DPP presidential candidate and Vice President Lai Ching-te. 

The initial consensus has marked the first time in Taiwan’s history that two major political parties are seeking “collaboration” or even considering the possibility of “a government coalition”, with the two chairmans of the KMT and the TPP vowing to curb the long years of “the one-party democratic rule” in Taiwan.

With the Central Election Commission’s November 24th deadline for registering a presidential ticket fast approaching, the meeting will be one of the last remaining chances for the two parties to reach a cooperation agreement. 

A major pollster in Taiwan show that the DPP’s Lai Ching-te runs the top at about 34.4%, followed by the KMT’s Hou at 26.9% and the TPP’s Ko at 23.2%, while the independent candidate Terry Gou receiving the least support at 6.4%. The number of the undecideds is around 9.1%.

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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