Jan 11, 2010

Taiwan: Opposition Scores Fresh Election Win

Sample ImageTaiwan's main opposition party the Democratic Progressive Party, which favors independence from China, has beaten the ruling Kuomintang party in the Taoyuan by-elections

Below is an article published by Agence France-Press:

Taiwan's main opposition party scored a fresh election victory in legislative by-elections in three counties, officials said on Saturday [9 January].

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favors independence from China, beat the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party in Taoyuan, Taichung and Taitung, said the Central Election Commission.

The outcome is critical as the DPP now holds 30 seats, or more than one-fourth of the 106-seat parliament, which will enable it to propose major bills such as recalling the president or amending the constitution, the DPP said.

"The public is dissatisfied with the Ma Ying-jeou administration's poor performances and wishes to teach it a lesson," DPP spokesman Tsai Chi-chang told AFP.

"The people also want to see a more balanced parliament to check the ruling party" which has the majority with 73 seats, he said.

It was the KMT's second election setback in just two months since it took office in May 2008 on a China-friendly platform.

The DPP won control of an extra county while the KMT lost two in the December polls to elect county chief and local mayors, which were widely seen as a mid-term test of President Ma Ying-jeou.

"We will reflect on ourselves and remember the lesson .. We will continue to reform the party," KMT secretary-general King Pu-tsung told reporters.

Ties with China were strained under the eight-year rule of the DPP but improved markedly since the KMT came to power.

The self-ruled island and China split in 1949 after a civil war.

The by-elections were called after two KMT politicians were stripped of their titles over vote-buying while a third KMT lawmaker was elected county chief.