Taiwan’s ruling party lost local elections… President Tsai Ing-wen announces resignation

An anti-China card, pushed by public livelihood issues
A sense that will affect cross-strait relations
Chiang Kai-shek’s great-grandson was elected mayor of Taipei

In the provincial elections for Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (pictured), the ruling Democratic Progressive Party suffered a massive defeat, while the main opposition Chinese party Kuomintang won. Analysts say this is because the ruling party’s “anti-China security” card has been buried in the livelihood issue.

According to the Taiwan Election Commission on the 27th, among the 21 precincts and cities that elected chiefs the day before, 13 Kuomintang candidates and 5 Democratic Progressive Party candidates were elected. The People’s Party won one seat and the independent won two.

The Kuomintang won four of the six directly controlled cities: Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, and Taichung. In the elections in the capital city of Taipei, Candidate Wan An Chang, great-grandson of Taiwan’s first president, Chiang Kai-shek, defeated Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shi-zhong, former Minister of Health and Welfare who was responsible for response. to Corona 19. Zhang, 43, set the record for being the youngest ever mayor in Taipei.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party, led by President Tsai, secured Tainan and Kaohsiung among the municipalities under direct control. The result of this election is not much different from the previous local election held in November 2018, when the ruling Democratic Progressive Party suffered a resounding defeat. The Kuomintang, which was also the opposition party at the time, won 15 of the 22 prefectural and mayoral seats, or two thirds. The Democratic Progressive Party took only six places.

During this campaign, President Tsai emphasized China’s threats and the defense of Taiwan’s democracy. As a result, it is assessed that the public’s support for President Tsai’s strong ‘pro-US, anti-China’ line did not meet expectations. There is also an analysis that Taiwan’s main concern was internal issues such as the public economy and the Corona 19 quarantine rather than external issues. Zhao Chunsan, professor emeritus at the Continental Research Institute at Tamkang University in Taiwan, pointed out that “during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government’s dissatisfaction with the situation outweighed concerns about the Taiwan Strait issue.”

Regarding the election results, President Tsai said, “I respect the decision of the Taiwanese people. I will take responsibility for everything,” he announced his resignation as president of the Democratic Progressive Party.

The results of this election are expected to affect Taiwan’s next presidential election to be held in January 2024. The Kuomintang, which won 13 seats this time, and Kuomintang Chairman Zhu Lirun, who dreams of becoming a candidate for the next Kuomintang presidential election, gain momentum. Attention is also focused on the cross-strait (China and Taiwan) policies that the Kuomintang, which is more conciliatory than the Democratic Progressive Party, will introduce in relation to the public.

Beijing = Correspondent Kang Hyun-woo


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