Taiwan opposition candidate picks running mate for January polls

TAIPEI (DPA) – A popular opposition candidate standing in Taiwan’s presidential election next year has chosen a former prime minister as his running mate, his China-friendly Nationalist Party (KMT) announced on Monday (Nov 11).

The mayor of the southern city of Kaohsiung, Mr Han Kuo-yu, chose former premier Chang San-cheng as his candidate for vice-president.

Mr Chang, 65, served as caretaker premier from Jan 25 through May 20, 2016.

Most recently, Mr Chang, who is not a KMT member, has led Mr Han’s team of national policy advisers.

Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections will be held concurrently on Jan 11, 2020.

Incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen is seeking another term. She has yet to announce her vice-presidential running mate.

Ms Tsai, whose independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a major setback in last November’s local elections, has been regaining support since she earlier this year denounced Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plan to apply to Taiwan the same “One Country, Two Systems” principle that it applies to Hong Kong.

Ms Tsai has been ahead in opinion polls in recent weeks.

Taiwan has had its own government since 1949, when the Chinese Nationalists fled there after losing a civil war to the Communists.

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