TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih's (侯友宜) commanding victory in Taiwan's municipal elections on Nov. 26, the highly popular mayor is predicted by political pundits to be poised to make a presidential bid in 2024.
On Nov. 26, the Kuomintang's (KMT) Hou beat his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) opponent Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) with a final tally of 1,152,555 votes (62.42%) to Lin's (37.58%) 693,976, a difference of 458,579 votes, according to the Central Election Commission. In his victory speech, Hou notably made more mentions of the Republic of China (Taiwan) than the city of New Taipei, interpreted by some observers to indicate that he may be already eyeing a presidential run.
Broadcasting Corporation of China Chair Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) of the KMT was cited by TVBS on Sunday (Nov. 27) as saying that he does not know Hou's plans but that a presidential run in 2024 is one of his options. Jaw indicated that given his mandate with so many New Taipei voters, a presidential bid could be a possibility.
Political commentator Huang Yang-ming (黃揚明) on Sunday told Storm Media that although he received slightly fewer votes this year than in 2018, the 62% was a higher ratio than the 57.14% he received last time. Huang posited that Hou is ready to run for the 2024 election.
Huang said that the next challenge will be whether the opposing camps of the KMT can be unified around him. He said that another key will be whether the blue camp's strategy of engaging in cross-strait talks with Beijing can gain more appeal among the general electorate over the DPP's slogan of "resist China protect Taiwan" in 2024.
Currently, the first hurdle Hou will face is whether his city government team can be converted into a national presidential campaign team, predicted Huang. The commentator added that Hou will need to "avoid confrontation, keep some distance from the KMT's Central Committee," and fend off multiple challengers in the blue camp.
JUSTCLICK & CONNECT