l For the 2012 presidential contest, the biggest challenge to both the KMT and the DPP remains party unity. While the DPP has to contain and manage the rivalry between Tsai Ing-wen and Su Tseng-chang, President Ma Ying-jeou has to make sure that, among other things, his choice of running mate does not upset the balance of power within the KMT, particularly among those eying for a shot at the 2016 presidential race.
l As such, there are more calls within the KMT in support of Vice President Vincent Siew running with Ma again in 2012, if his health permits. So far, both Ma and Siew have been mum on the subject, which will not be made public until May.
l Since Siew will likely retire and leave politics with Ma in 2016 if elected to a second term, a Ma-Siew ticket for the KMT can: (1) maintain intraparty unity and balance, (2) ease concerns over Ma becoming “lame-duck” too early, and (3) prevent a premature and fierce competition among those jockeying for a shot at the 2016 party nomination for president.
l At the same time, both the KMT and the DPP continue to pay close attention on the possible convergence of the so-called “third force,” led by former President Lee Teng-hui and former DPP Chairman Shih Min-teh. Though the room for a possible “third force” remains limited, neither the KMT nor the DPP would want to see its support base eroded by those "feeling neglected."
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