Taiwan's Vice President Lai secures nomination as DPP presidential candidate

Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te has secured his place on the 2024 presidential election ticket as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's candidate.

Lai was the only person to register by the Friday deadline to run in the DPP's primary. The presidential election is due to take place in January next year.

Incumbent Tsai Ing-wen is also in the DPP but cannot run again, as Taiwan's Constitution limits the president's tenure to two terms.

Lai served as premier before he was appointed vice president in May 2020. He was elected DPP chairperson in January.

Lai said on Wednesday when he registered for the primary that he wants to be given a chance to unite the people of Taiwan, improve the economy, safeguard democracy, bolster defense and preserve peace.

While serving as premier, Lai described himself as a "pragmatic worker for Taiwan independence." But after assuming the post of DPP leader, he said there is no need for Taiwan to declare independence because it "is already." Lai stressed that he will continue Tsai's policy on cross-strait issues.

The DPP's main rival, Kuomintang, is aiming to win back power in the 2024 election after being the opposition for eight years. The party has yet to choose its presidential candidate.