22 February 2018

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12/12/2004 taiwan - china

Opposition wins Taiwan elections

Taipei (AsiaNews/ Agencies) - Taiwanese opposition lawmakers cruised the streets in trucks Sunday thanking voters for their victory. Analysts think the election results will help simmering tensions with rival China.

The opposition parties took 114 of the parliament's 225 seats. The DPP (President Chen Shui-bian's party) and its ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, together won 101 seats. The remaining 10 seats went to independent candidates and other groups.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which struggles for an independent Taiwan, has never won a majority in the parliament, the Legislative Yuan.  During the campaign, the opposition favoured a more conciliatory policy toward China, which claims the self-ruled island is part of Chinese territory.  Most Taiwanese oppose unification with their Communist neighbour, but the majority is also reluctant to make a bold move toward independence and spark a devastating war with China.

Analysts say that among the reasons of the president's loss there is an election's low turnout of 56 percent - 80 percent voted in the March presidential election . But above all, voters were wary about allowing one group to control both the presidency and the legislature. The China Times, one of Taiwan's biggest Chinese-language papers, noted  that the election's results "showed that voters wanted a strong opposition party to balance the ruling party."

One possible election outcome will be continued gridlock in the legislature. Since Chen was elected in 2000, the opposition-controlled parliament has blocked most of his major initiatives. An editorial in the mass-market Apple Daily newspaper said, "Our nightmare is that the blues and greens will continue feuding and be locked in a you-die-and-I-live struggle for the next four years."

One notable result from the election was that parties known to take extreme positions on the unification-independence issue finished poorly. The pro-unification People First Party won 34 seats - 12 less than in the last election. The staunchly pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union's seats shrank by one to 12. The biggest winner was the Nationalists, who picked up 11 more seats for a total 80. Chen's party won two additional seats.

See also

11/12/2004 TAIWAN - CHINA
Taiwan elections, new tensions with China

16/12/2004 JAPAN – TAIWAN – CHINA
Japan might grant visa to Taiwan's former president
Tensions between Japan and China are rising. Tokyo says China and North Korea are potential threats to its security.

14/01/2008 TAIWAN
The victory of the KMT, a turning point for dialogue with China
The Kuomintang has obtained 81 parliamentary seats, against 27 for the democrats, but it risks losing consensus in view of the upcoming presidential elections. President Chen leaves the leadership of the democratic party, takes responsibility for the defeat, and leaves for a round of diplomacy. The Chinese people see the elections as a "lesson of democracy", rather than focusing on the results.

09/11/2004 taiwan - china
70pc say island is sovereign state
Yesterday Taiwan's army practised fending off a mainland invasion force by a street battle.

27/07/2006 CHINA
Beijing fears independent candidate, arrests democracy campaigner

Yao Lifa, a symbol of democratic political activism, was arrested together with another five independent candidates in Hubei. Released after six hours, he called on 900 million Chinese voters not to give into the Party's fraud and to use their vote.

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