sai Ing-wen has won her bid to become the Democratic Progressive Party’s nominee in Taiwan’s presidential election in 2020.
She staved off a challenge by her former premier William Lai that made her the first incumbent president in Taiwan’s history to face a primary, beating him by more than 8% in a telephone poll that received over 16,000 responses.
Tonight, I thank my supporters & everyone who cares about Taiwan & its democracy. After the primary, let’s come together & work harder to ensure that Taiwan remains a beacon of democracy, not just for this region, but for everyone around the world who desires freedom & democracy. pic.twitter.com/yuFsrQvSaC
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) June 13, 2019
Lai embarked on his historic bid to get the ruling party to switch tickets, much to Tsai’s chagrin, after the DPP suffered a bruising defeat in regional elections in November 2018, losing its strongholds Kaohsiung and Taichung.
Record turnouts in Hong Kong in the recent vigil to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square student protests, and the massive protests against a proposed extradition bill could not have come at a more opportune time for Tsai.
Seizing the moment, Tsai hammered home her message that “One Country, Two Systems” had failed in Hong Kong and that as long as she remained president, it would never be an option for Taiwan.
Fortunately for her, that message stuck and as her popularity rebounded in the last two weeks, voters delivered her the victory she needed to seek a second term as president.
We stand with all freedom-loving people of #HongKong. In their faces, we see the longing for freedom, & are reminded that #Taiwan’s hard-earned democracy must be guarded & renewed by every generation.
As long as I’m President, “one country, two systems” will never be an option. https://t.co/yYckfeNxw0
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) June 9, 2019
In a Facebook post conceding defeat, Lai offered up his congratulations to Tsai and said she had his full and unconditional support in her bid to serve a second term.
“I am a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, I love this party and would be willing to make sacrifices for it,” he wrote. “I was born in Taiwan, grew up in Taiwan and received my education in Taiwan. Taiwan is our mother. I love Taiwan and I want to repeat my call for everyone to support President Tsai Ing-wen.”