15 December 2017

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12/11/2006 TAIWAN

Contested victory for Democrats in Kaohsiung

The Democrats lost the capital but surprisingly won 40% of votes cast despite the scandals that have overwhelmed the family of President Chen. The ballot revealed a clear divide in the island’s political scenario.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Kuomintang (KMT) nationalists were defeated by a handful of votes by the democrats in municipal elections in Kaohsiung. But hopes for eventual victory have not died. A district court has accepted the appeal by the defeated nationalist candidate, and ordered a recount of all ballot papers. Kaohsiung is a traditional stronghold of the Democratic Progressive Party, led by President Chen Shui-bian.

The democrat candidate, Chen Chu, won by a narrow margin of 1,114 votes, that is, 0.14% of votes cast. Chen said that “Kuomintang’s desire to recount the votes should be respected” although “accusations of fraud” made by the nationalists to justify a recount were “unacceptable”.

Voting preferences, which practically ignored minor parties, officially heralded the dawn of a bipartisan political system in Taiwan too.

The island’s other big city, the capital Taipei, went to the KMT. But the democrat candidate for the capital, the ex-premier and mayor of Kaoshiung, Frank Hsieh Chang-ting, commented positively about the voting results.

Although he was defeated, in fact, he managed to get 40.9% of votes, an unexpected result especially in the light of recent scandals that shook the presidential family and the Democratic Party.

Many analysts believe the ballot results have definitively launched Hsieh as a presidential candidate in polls slated for 2008.

"The votes won by Hsieh prove he is the right man to counter the nationalist candidate in the 2008 race, and not the current premier Su Tseng-chang," political commentator Hu Chung-hsin said.

See also

01/10/2007 TAIWAN
Democrats u-turn, no referendum on independence
After protest marches and continuous requests for a new UN seat, President Chen’s party adopts a resolution to return to the status quo. Analysts read a deliberate move to regain moderate votes ahead of March presidential elections.

14/05/2007 TAIWAN
Ex-negotiator with Beijing becomes new premier
The president replaced Su Tseng-chang, who was defeated in the presidential primary of the Democratic Progressive Party, with Chang Chun-hsiung, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation and a leading peace negotiator between the island and Beijing. This move completes appointments made before the presidential election in 2008.

25/02/2008 TAIWAN
Presidential election, first televised debate: fidelity to the island, and the economy
The two candidates for the presidency of Taiwan clashed over the "Chinese question" and the local economy. Voting takes place next March, results still in the balance.

25/06/2007 TAIWAN
KMT nominates ex-chairman as candidate, who pledges economic lift if he wins poll
Taiwan's Kuomintang yesterday officially nominated Ma Ying-jeou, Taipei’s former mayor, as its candidate for president in next March elections. Ma vows to lift Taiwan's economic growth rate to over 6 per cent if he is elected.

16/01/2016 14:51:00 TAIWAN
Tsai Ing-wen becomes Taiwan’s first female president

Although vote counting is still underway, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) appears to have secured a landslide victory. Her main opponent, Eric Chu, of the Kuomintang, has already conceded defeat and resigned from the leadership of his party. Chen Chien-je, a Catholic, becomes vice president.

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