Category: Taiwan

Taiwan Elections: Young candidates, underdogs prevail in several legislative races

FocusTaiwan.tw

From left to right Kao Chia-yu, Lai Pin-yu and Chen Po-wei

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taiwan’s legislative elections saw several young politicians prevail in high-profile races, and some candidates claimed victory independent of the country’s political mainstream dominated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Kuomintang (KMT).

Of the 113 seats available, the DPP won 61, followed by the KMT with 38, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) with five, the New Power Party (NPP) with three, and the remaining six seats divided between independents and a small pro-independence party.

In the 79 races in which candidates were directly elected rather than through a party vote for legislators-at-large, 14 new faces emerged.

In one of the night’s more closely-watched races, in New Taipei City’s rural 12th District, 27-year-old DPP candidate Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) narrowly edged out her KMT opponent in a field of three.

Lai, a former student activist and cosplay enthusiast, entered the race in September, after the district’s incumbent, the NPP’s Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), announced he would run on his party’s legislator at-large list, leaving a lesser-known NPP candidate to try and defend the seat.

Meanwhile, in Taipei City’s 4th District, 39-year-old DPP city councilor Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) upset KMT incumbent Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) by a 50-47 percent margin.

In doing so, Kao leveraged a national profile built through her frequent appearances on political talk shows to overcome Lee’s deep family connections to the district, which was previously represented by her father and grandfather.

However, in a battle between two rising political stars in Taipei’s 3rd District (Zhongshan and Songshan districts), KMT incumbent Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) was able to hold his seat against DPP challenger Enoch Wu (吳怡農).

Chiang Wan-an
Chiang Wan-an

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Taiwan election: Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term, beating Beijing- friendly rival

Pei-ju Teng | Hong Kong Free Press

Taiwan’s incumbent leader Tsai Ing-wen has won Saturday’s presidential election, defeating her Beijing-friendly rival Han Kuo-yu by a wide margin.

Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen greets supporters after winning the presidential election on January 11, 2020. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP

“Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free and democratic way of life,” Tsai told supporters at 9pm as she confirmed her victory.

Taiwan election January 10 Democratic Progressive Party DPP Tsai Ing-wen

DPP supporters rally in Taipei on January 11. Photo: KM/United Social Press.

A jubilant crowd of supporters outside the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei burst into cheers as Tsai appeared on stage to address reporters.

Taiwan election January 10 Democratic Progressive Party DPP Tsai Ing-wen

Democratic Progressive Party supporters rally in Taipei on January 10, election day. Photo: Viola Kam/United Social Press.

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Taiwan election: How Tsai stayed one step ahead

By Cindy Sui | BBC News, Taipei

Tsai Ing-wen waving to supporters
Tsai Ing-wen has proven herself a shrewd politician. Photo by Reuters

Taiwan’s first female President Tsai Ing-wen is a thorn in mainland China’s side and this may have worked to her advantage as a crucial election looms.

When the island became the first Asian society to legalise gay marriage last year, Ms Tsai made global headlines, but was also criticised for going against majority public opinion in Taiwan.

Earlier, she faced accusations of nearly causing an electricity shortage with her promotion of green energy. When she tried to give all workers two days off a week, she found herself accused of hurting rather than increasing worker earnings and holiday.

Low wages and controversial pension reform also pulled down her approval ratings to as low as 15% late last year. She even had to battle a former subordinate for her party’s nomination.

While many cheered, public opinion was against gay marriage

But her biggest headache has been China – it has turned up the pressure on her because she and her party do not accept that Taiwan can be part of one China.

Last year Beijing snatched seven of Taiwan’s already sparse collection of diplomatic allies – only a handful of countries recognise self-governing Taiwan as a sovereign nation. China also displayed its muscle by flying fighter jets and sailing aircraft carriers in Taiwan’s vicinity, and banned much-needed Chinese tourists from visiting the island.

Despite all this, as she stands for a second term, she has a good chance of winning.

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Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen looks set to win re-election in 2020 presidential poll

BY KO SHU-LING | http://www.japantimes.co.jp

TAIPEI – Six months ago, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval ratings were so low many wondered if she would be nominated to run for re-election in January.

Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party suffered a huge defeat in the 2018 local elections, and few gave her much chance against the main opposition Nationalist Party candidate Han Kuo-yu, who was riding a wave of popularity that began the year before when he won the Kaohsiung mayoral election as part of the DPP rout.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen
Photo credit: https://www.roc-taiwan.org/

Today, however, polls show Tsai leading Han by over 10 points, with most in agreement that, barring a major scandal or economic downturn, Taiwan’s fourth elected, and first female, president is headed for a second term.

Tsai’s rebound is widely attributed to two main causes, both involving China.

The first is the pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong, which has filled local media with the kind of news guaranteed to increase support for the independence-leaning DPP among voters long wary not only of China, but of the China-friendly opposition party widely known as Kuomingtan (KMT).

The second is Taiwan’s economic health, which the U.S.-China trade war boosted in recent months as foreign businesses seek alternate sources for goods once manufactured on the mainland.

Yet Tsai’s biggest break may not have involved China, but rather her opponent’s decision to accept the KMT nomination only a few months after assuming his duties as Kaohsiung mayor.

Han began his political career in the legislature, where from 1993 to 2002 he earned a reputation for combativeness and heavy drinking. This was followed by a series of minor political appointments and a failed 2017 bid for KMT chair, after which he agreed to represent the party in Kaohsiung, a DPP stronghold that Han was expected to lose.

Instead, he took 54 percent of the votes, astonishing everyone and initiating a “Han wave” of supporters who immediately began touting him as presidential material.

Lifting a page from the populist playbook, he campaigned as a humble everyman, replying to complex questions with slogans, or dodging them outright, especially when they involved China. Han focused on local grievances, notably the economy, blaming the DPP for regional stagnation and the exodus of young people forced to move north to find work.

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