Ko hints at collapse of joint ticket plan, KMT legislator list
Taiwan People's Party Chairman Ko Wen-je is hinting at a collapse of plans to field a joint presidential election ticket with the KMT.
At a rally in New Taipei's Banqiao District, Ko said while he will extend the "utmost goodwill" to unite all possible forces to form a joint ticket he will still continue to fight to the end as his party's presidential candidate.
The statement comes after a dispute over poll results to determine whether Ko or the KMT's Hou Yu-ih would lead the ticket ended in disagreement on Saturday. Before his Banqiao rally, Ko had told reporters he was looking forward to the "opposition being able to select the strongest candidate" when he was asked about the prospects of a KMT-TPP alliance.
The KMT has insisted that cooperation with the TP- has now entered its final stage and it remains committed to opening the door to Ko and continuing negotiations with his party, "with the utmost sincerity and patience." The KMT and the TPP agreed to use polls to determine who would top the ticket. However, based on analysis of the polls, the KMT felt the results clearly favoured a Hou-Ko ticket but Ko appears not to have accepted that interpretation.
Meanwhile, Han Kuo-yu tops the KMT party's list of 34 legislator-at-large nominations for the January 2024 elections.
Han was Kaohsiung mayor from December 2018 until his recall in 2020, making him the first municipality leader in Taiwan's history to be recalled. He was also the KMT's candidate for the 2020 presidential election.
Han said he's willing to take up the task given to him and his main goal is to promote the KMT's cooperation with the Taiwan People's Party. Han's position at the top of the KMT's party list means that could become legislative speaker if the KMT and TPP manage to form a coalition government.
The KMT's party list also includes former lawmaker Ko Zhi-en, blockchain and NFT expert Ko Ru-chun, and retired Navy admiral Chen Yong-kang.
KMT Chairman Eric Chu says his party's nominees have an average age of 47, making it the youngest legislator-at-large list the party has ever proposed. This is meant to show that the party is "willing to give more opportunities to the younger generation."
In news from the DPP, presidential candidate Lai Ching-te is set to announce that Taiwan's top envoy to the United States, Hsiao Bi-khim as his running mate in January's election.
According to his campaign office, an official announcement will be made today after Hsiao arrives back in Taiwan. Lai's campaign office says Hsiao will then join Lai in registering their candidacy at the Central Election Commission tomorrow. Lai and Hsiao will be attending a series of events later this week and into the weekend and those events include the inauguration of a joint campaign headquarters between Lai and DPP legislative election nominee, Chang Mei-hui in Hualien County. Candidates for the presidential election must officially register their candidacies from today through Friday.
Hsiao has been the Tsai administration's top envoy to the U-S since 2020 and she has been linked to the vice presidential spot since the DPP announced that Lai was its presidential candidate.