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Taiwan Presidential Election

Taiwan’s two key opposition parties in the January 13 presidential election have decided to team up, potentially paving the way for smoother relations with Beijing.

Photo by Timo Volz / Unsplash

The decision to unite Hou Yu-ih, presidential candidate for the Kuomintang (KMT), and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) on a joint presidential ticket follows a KMT visit to Beijing on November 2-5.

Taiwan’s Mirror Media reported the Beijing trip by the KMT’s Hsiao Hsu-tsen on Wednesday (November 15), sparking speculation that Beijing is behind the KMT-TPP joint presidential ticket deal.

On Wednesday, the KMT and TPP announced that a panel of three experts will assess opinion polls from November 7-17. The result will decide which candidate stands on the joint ticket as the presidential candidate.

Vice-President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to name Taiwan’s envoy to the United States, Hsiao Bi-khim, as his running mate on November 20. Beijing has denounced Lai as a separatist.

Billionaire founder of Apple supplier Foxconn, Terry Gou, and his running mate Tammy Lai have also qualified for Taiwan’s presidential election, Besides Gou and Lai, none of the other nine campaigns passed the threshold to make it onto the ballot.

The deadline to register presidential candidacies is November 24.