(MENAFN- Asia Times) Taiwan's two largest opposition parties were unable to form an alliance over the weekend due to competing interpretations of public opinion polls, casting a new cloud of uncertainty over January's crucial presidential election.
The opposition camp is perceived to be more friendly toward mainland China while the ruling, nationalistic Democratic Progressive Party is seen as more antagonistic toward Beijing.
With the push of former Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou, Kuomintang (KMT)'s Hou Yu-ih and Taiwan People's Party (TPP)'s Ko Wen-je agreed on November 15 to join political hands and allow opinion polls to determine who should lead their joint election campaign.
The ticket would be either a“Ko-Hou team”, meaning Ko would lead in the campaign, or alternatively a“Hou-Ko team.”
On November 18, the Ko-Hou team beat the Hou-Ko team in five out of the six polls conducted by media firms as well as the two parties. However, Ko had previously agreed to a special arrangement that has complicated the result.
He had said he would be willing to be the vice presidential candidate, rather than president, if the Ko-Hou team could not secure a 3% premium in ratings over the Hou-Ko team, with the assumption of a“plus or minus 1.5%” statistical error in the polls. He accepted the arrangement as he wanted to contribute to the formation of an opposition alliance.
Under that special statistical arrangement, the Ko-Hou team and the Hou-Ko team could be interpreted to have won three polls each, allowing Ko not to concede defeat.
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