Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang picks New Taipei mayor as presidential candidate

Taiwan's largest opposition Kuomintang party has picked the mayor of New Taipei City, Hou Yu-ih, as its candidate for the 2024 presidential election. That sets up a three-way race among all major parties.

The party announced the nomination on Wednesday, saying it considered recent poll results and opinions of its lawmakers.

Hou said that internationally, Taiwan faces the danger of war, while domestically there are conflicts over divisions and countless things to be fixed. He vowed to lead the KMT to victory.

Hou served as national police chief, then deputy mayor of New Taipei City before winning its mayoral election in 2018. He was reelected last year.

Hou has said he is against Taiwan independence and does not agree to the "one country, two systems" framework. But he has rarely spoken about his stance on relations with China and other diplomatic issues.

In the race for the nomination, Terry Gou, the founder of Hon Hai Precision Industry, was also seen as a potential candidate.

Observers say Hou's nomination could stir dissatisfaction among KMT members, as Gou's support rate increased during the prolonged selection process. The party now faces the challenge of uniting to win back power for the first time in eight years.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party has named Vice President Lai Ching-te as its candidate for the presidential election to be held in January, while the Taiwan People's Party, the third-largest force in legislature, picked former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.