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Countdown 156 days: 2020 Taiwan Presidential Election [Update election tidbits]

[更新選舉花絮]倒數156天 2020台灣總統大選

2020 Taiwan Presidential Election

On March 23, 1996, the people of Taiwan exercised their right to directly elect their president for the first time.

In 1996, Taiwan was preparing to hold its first direct presidential election. This brought it into the international spotlight, leading to the "Taiwan Strait Missile Crisis." The communist government of China launched a series of military exercises to express its opposition to the elections and launched three missiles into the Taiwan Strait. The missiles entered Taiwanese waters off the ports of Keelung and Kaohsiung. The United States then dispatched two aircraft carriers, the USS Independence and USS Nimitz, to participate in the defense of the island.

Four candidates ran in the election, which concluded on March 23, 1996, with Lee Teng-hui becoming the first democratically elected president of Taiwan. Interestingly, Ma Ying-jeou, who was resolutely opposed to the direct presidential election, served as the 4th president of Taiwan between 2008 and 2016.

=> Presidential candidates: party nominees Tsai Ing-wen, Han Kuo-yu

=> Presidential candidate qualifications

=> Election Tidbits about Tsai Ing-wen, Han Kuo-yu, Ko Wen-je, and Terry Gou
**Continuously updated Traditional Chinese version of the election tidbits

Tidbits about presidential nominees and possible candidates

Han Kuo-yu (Chinese Nationalist Party’s presidential nominee)

When asked on Monday (Aug. 5) about China’s recent ban on citizens traveling individually to Taiwan, Han Kuo-yu said exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait must be based on the principle of peace and prosperity, adding, “There is no need to create an imaginary enemy” and cause turmoil. He called on Chinese authorities “not to equate Taiwanese with the Democratic Progressive Party, as most Taiwanese are kindhearted, peace-loving, and hope for better economic development and education.”
On Monday morning, when asked about a Chinese couple giving him the thumbs down and calling him a “traitor” in Taoyuan last weekend, Han said there were about 300,000 people there, 29,998 of whom supported him, which should also have been reported by certain media.
While attending a Marine Corps veterans dinner party on Sunday night (Aug. 4), Han Kuo-yu said he got so drunk that he “almost couldn’t stand up.” Media reported that Han ended up having to cancel his scheduled administrative duties on Monday, for which he was criticized online. Netizens made sarcastic comments describing the mayor as someone who “campaigns on holidays and rests on workdays,” or “idles away his time while grabbing whatever benefits he can get.” Another said, “It doesn’t make any difference whether he is on duty or not.”
On Saturday morning (Aug. 3), while on a short pilgrimage to Taoyuan, Han was chastised by a Chinese man from Shanghai and his Taiwanese wife. They gave the thumbs down to Han. The wife of the Chinese man then called out to the mayor, saying, “Han Kuo-yu, kneel at China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. Aren’t you embarrassed ” The Chinese man said, “Look at Hong Kong! Loser! I am a Chinese visitor! I’m telling you, the suffering we Chinese endure in China will be the fate of Taiwanese. If you go on like this, you will dig your own grave!”

Ko Wen-je (possible candidate)

Taipei mayor and potential presidential candidate Ko Wen-je admitted on Tuesday (Aug. 6) that he committed a faux pas the previous day by saying, “People around President Tsai Ing-wen are corrupt” – but even so, he hasn’t apologized. Instead, Ko said, “It’s my way of talking whether you like it or not.” He continued by saying, “Today, I am criticizing you! Where have all the 10,000 cartons of cigarettes gone Actually, all Taiwan’s people have been watching and have their take on the issue. It’s been three weeks, let’s see how she is going to handle it. I bet she will use the same tactics used to handle the Mega Bank and Ching Fu scandals to deal with the cigarette smuggling scandal, by just saying, ‘Refer it to the justice system.’ However, this is not what people expect. They would like to see an attitude of self-examination. Improper use of national resources is also a form of corruption. That’s what I would like to talk with her about.”
On Tuesday, Shen Jung-chin, associate professor at York University in Toronto, Canada, wrote an article, stating: “There are three qualities that President Tsai Ing-wen has, which Ko Wen-je can’t stand at all.” First, Ko believes Tsai was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and believes she can’t understand how Ko has to work hard to achieve results. Second, Ko, who grew up as a mama’s boy and is adored by his wife, looks down on women. He will not willingly accept a woman who is ranked higher than him, especially if he feels the woman is not as capable as he is. He thinks he should be the one occupying the highest office in the land. Third, even though Tsai has made great strides in international diplomacy, she has not been good at choosing aides, which has provided fuel for Ko’s jealousy and ambition to replace her.
Following Ko’s accusation of corruption against the people around Tsai on Monday (Aug. 5), lawyer Huang Ti-ying (黃帝穎) wrote in a Facebook post on Monday night (Aug. 5) that Article 241 of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates: “A public official who, in the execution of his official duties, learns there is suspicion that an offense has been committed must report it.” Huang said Ko is a public official and has an obligation to report a criminal offense. If he fails to report the offence, he will thereby commit the offense of sheltering criminals, Huang said, adding that if Ko cannot provide evidence after filing a claim, he would then stand accused of making false accusations. If Ko is afraid of filing such a claim, he is a crook, in just the same way he handled the Taipei Dome case, Huang added.
After Ko criticized the people around President Tsai for corruption, the Presidential Office demanded an apology from Ko. When asked by the media on Monday afternoon (Aug. 5) about the demand for an apology, Ko said, “I didn’t criticize her on purpose, but she should reflect on what happened. What am I going to apologize for ”
During a media interview at Noon on Aug. 5, Ko talked about the frequent failed bids for the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Third Terminal project. He said he suspected that political influence has been involved in the bids, and then lashed out at Tsai, saying, “I supported you (President Tsai) in 2016, but how could you turn the country into such a mess. You weren’t corrupt, but everyone around you was.”
When asked on Monday (Aug. 5) whether he would throw his hat into the presidential election ring, Ko reiterated that he didn’t want to put himself through it. Despite traveling around Taiwan as if preparing for an election bid, he insisted that it was merely a learning journey to observe and study.
On Sunday (Aug. 4). When asked about his secret meetings with Terry Gou and Wang Jin-pyng, Ko Wen-je said, “Everybody is their worst enemy. In terms of game theory, only No.1 and No. 2 can survive within an electoral district because No. 3 will quickly become marginalized. I believe that after the election, Taiwan’s political territories will be reformed. Three Kingdoms only existed in Chinese history once. If looked at from the perspective of a mathematical model, the triangle is not a stable structure. In game theory, two is a more stable structure.”
Commenting on the rumor that if the Gou-Ko ticket wins the election, Gou would serve as president first, followed by Ko, he said that during his more than 10-year tenure as a National Taiwan University Hospital surgeon, he had seen so many people lose their loved ones that he did not listen to rumors any more. “It’s better to do the right thing. If we put fame and gain first, Taiwan’s future would be worse.”
On Saturday (Aug. 3), Ko pleaded with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to stop him from filing the application to found the “Taiwanese People's Party.” Ko said, “Founding the party is an idea that popped into my mind when I was having lunch, and currently no party platform or constitution has been determined. When the time comes, I will use the internet to register party members, but even the website hasn’t been completed yet.”

Terry Gou (possible candidate)

A basket of flowers sent by former Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou to celebrate the foundation of the “Taiwan People's Party” (TPP) arrived at noon on Tuesday (Aug. 6) and bore the couplet: “Taiwan’s peace and prosperity is the general consensus,” and, “Remember to regain the original quality of conscience.” The TPP was founded by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je. Gou is considering joining the Taiwan 2020 presidential election as an independent candidate.
Terry Gou went abroad after he lost the KMT presidential primary. Since returning, Gou has not met up with the KMT’s party bosses. He did, however, meet up with former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. It is also thought that before meeting Wang, Gou met with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, who recently announced the founding of the “Taiwanese People's Party.” Gou is said to have declined Ko’s invitation to join the party and said he was instead inclined to join Taiwan’s 2020 presidential race as an independent.

Tsai Ing-wen (Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential nominee)

President Tsai Ing-wen told the media on Tuesday morning (Aug. 6), “We have strictly abided by financial discipline. In the past two years, we have had budget surpluses. This year was the first time in 22 years when making the general budget proposal for the following year that we achieved a balanced budget.”
On the message Taiwan’s Yi Fang Fruit Tea posted on Weibo on Monday (Aug. 5) swearing support for the "one country, two systems" framework and condemning the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong, Tsai told reporters on Tuesday morning (Aug. 6), “As for fruit tea, we certainly hope it’s natural, which is best, but if it’s mixed with a political flavor, it won’t taste good.” She added, “Politics is invading every corner of our lives, so we need to pay extra attention.”
When asked on Tuesday morning (Aug. 6) when she would meet with former Premier William Lai, Tsai said, “I think we have no problems regarding unity, so it’s not necessary to formally hold any kind of meeting.” When asked if a Tsai-Lai ticket is still possible, Tsai said, “The DPP’s unity is not in question. We’ll have the best ticket when the time comes.”
After Ko accused people around Tsai of being corrupt on Monday afternoon (Aug. 5), Tsai responded that evening by citing Ko’s previous remarks, “Criticizing others will not make yourself better.” She asked for Ko to apologize to the people who have made contributions to society by working for the country, saying accusations should be backed up by substantial evidence.

Presidential candidate qualifications

According to Article 20 of the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law, an elector who has lived in Taiwan for more than six months, domiciled in Taiwan for more than 15 years, and is more than 40 years old, is qualified to register as a candidate for president or vice president. Anyone who restores their Taiwan nationality, or acquires nationality by naturalization, or are residents of China, Hong Kong or Macao, may not be registered as the candidate for president or vice president.
According to Article 22 of the law, the DPP(Democratic Progressive Party), KMT(Chinese Nationalist Party), PFP(People First Party), and NPP(New Power Party) are qualified to directly recommend a ticket for the presidential election.
As provided under Article 23 of the law, those who apply to be registered as candidates for president and vice president by way of joint signature should register, and the number of joint signatories, within the period set forth in the article, should reach 1.5 percent of the total voters in the latest legislative election. For example, the electorate in the latest legislative election was 18,692,217, the applicant must have 280,384 joint signatories to qualify as a candidate.

2020 Taiwan presidential election

Polling Day: Jan. 11, 2020
Election session: The 15th election for president and vice president of Taiwan, the country’s seventh direct presidential election and vice presidential election
Electoral system: A universal, direct, secret, single non-transferable, and plurality voting system
Date of inauguration: May 20, 2020
System and stipulations related to Taiwan’s president
In 1996, for the first time, the president of Taiwan was directly elected to a four-year term with a term limit of two terms. Taiwan’s political system is a semi-presidential system. The powers vested in the president of Taiwan, as provided by the Constitution, can be categorized into five major areas: diplomacy, military, executive power, legislation, and justice.
Candidates: There are two ways to produce candidates. One is through nomination by a political party, and the other is through being co-signed by the voters.

Party nominees

DPP (Democratic Progressive Party): Tsai Ing-wen
KMT (Kuomintang / Chinese Nationalist Party): Han Kuo-yu
PFP (People First Party): Not yet decided
NPP (New Power Party): Not yet decided
Independents (nominated by petitions signed by eligible voters): Not yet decided
Nomination of party candidates:
According to the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law, parties whose candidates garner more than 5 percent of the valid votes in the latest president and vice president election, or legislative election, are qualified to recommend their party candidates to participate in the 2020 presidential election. As stipulated by the rules, the DPP, KMT(China Nationalist Party), PFP, and NPP are qualified to do so. In addition to party recommendation, nomination by petitions signed by eligible voters is another way to qualify for participation in the presidential election. In order to qualify, the number of people signing the petition must exceed 1.5 percent of the electorate in the latest legislative election (about 270,000).

DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) presidential nominee

On June 19, 2019, the DPP officially nominated Tsai Ing-wen as its presidential candidate for the 2020 election.

KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party) presidential nominee

On July 28, 2019, the KMT officially nominated Han Kuo-yu as its candidate to challenge sitting president Tsai Ing-wen.
Ko Lai, Taiwan News, Contributing Writer  


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