Sunday, February 22, 2015
Presidential speculations for 2016
Latest rumor, speculation, and media frenzy on 2016, now less than a year away.
This week the focus was on Wang Jin-pyng, the Speaker of the Legislature and the man most hated by Ma Ying-jeou, who has been trying to get him kicked out of the KMT for the last couple of years. Wang has been touted by the media as a possibility. He's over 70, popular with the Taiwanese KMT and often identified as their leader, but also in with the mainlander elites. Recall that in the infamous KMT Chairmanship election of a decade ago, Wang was supported by the mainlander elites, Ma, by the rank and file.
I'm not going into the many problems with Wang. Just going to mention that the story is Eric Chu will kiss and make up with the wily, also 70+ James Soong to run a Wang-Soong ticket for 2016 and unite the blues. Soong is a very interesting figure -- at key junctures he has made moves that made it possible for the pro-Taiwan side to emerge victorious. In the conflict between the reactionaries and the mainstream KMT under Lee Teng-hui, he supported Lee, enabling him to get a grip on the presidency. In 2000 he ran as a pan-Blue independent and split the KMT vote, enabling Chen Shui-bian to win the presidency. His PFP party flared bright for a couple of elections, then was reincorporated by the KMT. Soong himself has become a marginal figure. But a Wang-Soong ticket would be unpredictable and interesting.
Another story running around. A prominent Taoist temple picked a text to help soothsayers predict the coming year, and they picked a text related to Empress Wu of the Tang. This was seen as an omen favorable to the DPP's Tsai.
RTI: When asked about Wang Jin-pyng for President, Tsai Ing-wen said it would be inappropriate to comment, while Su Tseng-chang called him a respected opponent....
Wu Den-yi, the widely despised vice president, was in the news saying he hadn't made up his mind about running for president. All I have to say about that is "Please please please."
The KMT has tough choices ahead. The public wants Eric Chu, but doesn't seem to think he can win. If Chu, the KMT Chairman, runs, he has to give up his position in New Taipei City as mayor, a position he won by 1% of the vote. There is a good chance the DPP will win a by-election there, since the KMT lacks politicians to run for the spot. If he loses the presidency and New Taipei City, the KMT will have no major executive positions, just a few small counties. If he doesn't run, then there is no similar figure who can step up.
Meanwhile, everyone in the DPP has rejected the idea of running as Tsai Ing-wen's running mate. Stay tuned, the next few months are going to be fraught with speculation and rumor.
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