Taiwan’s elections: same old difference?

The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times

The announcement on Wednesday of a joint-ticket between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) for January’s presidential election, surprised many. With TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) insisting on public polling to determine whether he or KMT candidate Ho You-yi (侯友宜) would lead the coalition, and the KMT reluctant to acquiesce, an impasse seemed to have been reached. The decision of former KMT President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to endorse Ko’s preferred method, may have swayed things.

Prior to Ma’s intervention, cooperation on the presidential ballot appeared unlikely, despite an agreement to team up for the legislative elections, which will be held concurrently. Indeed, many analysts saw the protracted wrangling over potential collaboration as performative.

“They want to appear like they’re willing to compromise,” says Nathan Batto, a research fellow at the Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica, ahead of Wednesday’s announcement. “It makes them looks reasonable.”

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