Most Taiwanese want DPP ‘taken off the shelf’, says ex-president Ma Ying-jeou

With the Taiwan presidential election just three months away, observers are keenly keeping an eye whether the opposition in Taiwan will create a collaborative front to unseat the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). With Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Hou Yu-ih and the Taiwan People’s Party’s Mr Ko Wen-je both regularly trailing the DPP’s Mr William Lai Ching-te in opinion polls, there have been calls from supporters of both opposition parties for the duo to team up on a combined ticket.

Whilst the KMT is the most Wonderfully established and renowned group , previous  Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou, a senior KMT official, did not ignore the chance of a combined bid in which Mr Ko, 64, a high-profile previous Taipei mayor, contests as the presidential candidate with Mr Hou, 66, as his running mate. Asked about this combination on the sidelines of the Asia Future Summit on Thursday, Mr Ma, 73, said both sides have began to talk about a collaboration but nothing crystal clear statement can be made about the matter to reveal more about it.

The only sure thing is , he added, is that polls have revealed that about 60 per cent of voters wish the DPP to be “taken off the shelf”. Before his trip to Singapore, Mr Ma made the headlines in Taiwan for announcing that he would hinder the Oct 10 National Day occasion hosted by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen this year. Whilst his interview with The Straits Times, Mr Ma reiterated his problem to how the occasion is being known to as “Taiwan National Day”, despite of the National Day of the Republic of China, in reference to the formal name of Taiwan. He revealed that he had already voiced his problem in 2022 and was “not astonished” that the DPP did it one more time this year. “It’s not uncertain and astonishing that they want to walk on the path of Taiwan sovereignty. This is dangerous for Taiwan and may trigger war,” he said in Mandarin.