Taiwan’s 21 million voters have handed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) landslide victories in both the presidential and legislative elections.
Tsai Ing-wen (DPP) trounced Eric Chu of the Kuomintang (KMT) and James Soong of the People First Party (PFP), winning 56 percent of the vote to become Taiwan’s first female president. She won the largest ever margin in the history of the island’s presidential elections.
The DPP also won an unprecedented victory in the legislative elections, making history by securing a majority in the Legislative Yuan for the very first time.
Speaking at her victory rally outside DPP headquarters in Taipei, Tsai said to the jubilant crowd, “the democratic victory is ours, but the road to reform will be long and difficult. However, the Taiwanese people have never been knocked down before.”
Taiwanese media reports that the DPP now hold 68 of the legislature’s 113 seats, representing a 60 percent majority. The incumbent Kuomintang suffered heavily at the polls, retaining only 35 of the 64 seats they won at the 2012 elections.
Of the smaller parties competing in the election, the New Power Party (NPP) won 5 seats in the legislature, one of which went to death metal rocker Freddy Lim who took his seat from a KMT stalwart. The PFP also managed to secure 3 seats.
Hualien county, a long-time KMT stronghold fell to the DPP as Hsiao Bi-khim trounced Wang Ting-son who was seeking a third term as legislator for the county. The eastern regions of the island all saw huge swings towards the DPP.
In Taichung’s 3rd constituency, Hung Tzu-yung of the New Power Party also deprived the KMT’s incumbent Yang Chiung-ying of her seat, winning 54% of total votes.
The KMT also lost seats to the opposition in New Taipei City’s 12th constituency, Taichung’s 4th constituency, and Taoyuan’s 4th constituency.
A spokesperson with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement, “Our Taiwan policy is consistent and clear, and will not change with the results of these elections. We will continue to adhere to the 1992 Consensus, and resolutely oppose all activities by Taiwanese separatists.”
As the presidential inauguration will not take place until May 20, Tsai Ing-wen has urged current president Ma Ying-jeou to form a caretaker cabinet so as to ensure a smooth transition of power.