Who will be Tsai's running mate?

A couple of months ago I wrote about the possible vice presidential candidates for both the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). I correctly predicted that Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) would be the candidate for the KMT. However, the DPP is yet to select their candidate and there are a number of possible candidates who didn’t even appear on my original list.

It was expected that the DPP’s presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would announce her running mate this weekend. However, a report from CNA today suggests that Tsai may delay the announcement until October. Tsai is certainly keeping everyone guessing about who she will choose.

While a number of names have been mentioned there seems to be no certainty about who Tsai will pick. Some potential candidates who have been the subject of media speculation are listed below.

  • Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) – Governor of the Central Bank
  • Lin Hsin-yi (林信義) – former Vice Premier
  • Lin Chuan (林全) – former Minister of Finance
  • Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) – former DPP chairman
  • Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) – former head of Academia Sinica and Nobel Laureate
  • Lai In-jaw (賴英照) – former President of the Judicial Yuan
  • Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) – DPP Secretary-General

The former premiers Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) were on my original list, but it seems they have been sidelined somewhat. They were given key positions on Tsai’s campaign team and included on the DPP’s legislator-at-large list.

Tsai may well choose someone who is not a member of the DPP in order to maximise her ticket’s appeal to swinging and pan-blue voters. However, she will need to appoint someone who is trusted by the DPP and it is likely she will choose someone who served in a senior position during the Chen Shui-bian administration from 2000 to 2008.

It is also possible that the candidate may not even be on this list. We will find out sooner or later.

5 Replies to “Who will be Tsai's running mate?”

  1. I’ll exclude two from your list:

    Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) – former DPP chairman

    First of all, he is too rigid and difficult to talk to. Tsai is an expert in negotiation and in putting all walks of different experts to work together. Lin is on the extreme opposite end of Tsai’s.

    Secondly, in the past couple of years, Lin kept silent to so many crucial offenses the KMT made on speech freedom, on human right, on judicial persecution, etc etc, when people feel the need to have him say something to right the wrong — due to the reputation he has, which comes from people’s trusting him. He disappointed them in all accounts. He would probably ruin most tasks Tsai would like to achieve due to his stubbornness.

    Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) – DPP Secretary-General

    He is relatively a capable guy. If he is put on the position of a VP, he will be left doing nothing in the new gov, if Tsai’s elected. That would be a waste.

    1. Echo, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that Lin Yi-hsiung has little chance of being picked. He also has the disadvantage of not having gained executive experience in the Chen Shui-bian administration.

  2. It is also fun to guess whom Soong will choose as his running mate. He said it will be announced on 9/15.

    I’ll pick one for now: Yang Chiuhsing (楊秋興)

  3. At a recent TFCC briefing Ms Tsai would only say that her VP running mate would be male and an experienced politician…and that the choice would be announced on 28 August. Well that’s come and gone and the delay is beginning to look like indecision at best or infighting over the pick at worst. Either way, not reassuring. As for putting it off till October – not an option: all candidates must be finally and irrevocably registered with the CEC 16-20 September. I think she should go for Su Jia-Chyuan – looks good, campaigns well (nearly unseated Jason Hu), smart enough.

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