The writing was on the wall and now the numbers have confirmed it: Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, is set to become Taiwan’s first female president as the Kuomintang concedes defeat in the presidential race even is vote counting is still underway.
In reports widely relayed by news outlets on the mainland, Tsai has taken almost double the number of votes of her arch rival, with votes counted as of 6:30 pm.
With a 57% vote share, Tsai is sitting comfortably above the 34% votes gained by her closest rival Eric Chu of the Kuomintang and looks set to win more than 50% of total votes by the time counting ends.
The entrance by James Soong of the People First Party into the presidential race has not proven to be a game changer.
Eric Chu has delivered his concession speech, and announced that he was resigning from his chairmanship of the Kuomintang.
Yang Wei-chung, the Kuomintang’s spokesperson, also announced earlier on Facebook that he has tendered his resignation this morning.
We will keep you updated as results from the presidential and legislative elections continue to come in.
[Update] 19:37: Hau Lung-pin, vice-chairman of the KMT, has also resigned. He conceded defeat in his legislative constituency in Keelung City, which was traditionally a KMT stronghold.
[Update] 20:13: While Tsai’s election victory has made front page news around the world, Xinhua apparently hasn’t got the memo, instead treating us to a host of headlines about the real man in power, Xi Jinping.
[Update] 20:19: Freddy Lim, front man of death metal band Chthonic who we reported on earlier this week has won a legislative seat for the New Power Party, defeating a KMT stalwart who previously held the seat.
[Update] 20:34: Tsai Ing-wen speaks at DPP press conference.
Posted by 三立新聞 on Saturday, 16 January 2016
[Update] 20:44: The DPP have already taken 50 of the 113 seats in the Legislative Yuan. 34 seats are yet to announce.
[Update] 20:51: Tsai: “I will build a predictable, consistent and sustainable cross-strait relationship… We will work towards maintaining the status quo for peace and stability”
[Update] 21:03: Responding to a journalist’s question about Taiwan’s national identity, Tsai replied that, “Taiwan will only have respect from the international community if it is strong.”
[Update] 21:13: Jubilant fans greet Tsai and representatives of her Democratic Progressive Party in the streets of Taipei as she delivers her victory speech.
[Update] 21:23: DPP wins a majority in the Legislative Yuan with 66 seats of the available 113. The KMT have been crushed, taking only 34 seats. That’s down from the 64 they won in 2012. 3 seats are yet to be announced.
[Update] 21:26: Speaking before crowds in Taipei, Tsai tells the Taiwanese people: “The democratic victory is ours, but the road to reform will be long and difficult.”
[Update] 22:10: Final composition of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan gives the DPP a clear majority with 60 percent of available seats.
— psepho (@psepho89) January 16, 2016
[Update] 22:20: United States congratulates Tsai Ing-wen on her victory in Taiwan’s presidential election.
[Update] 23:01: China issues a stern warning that it will not tolerate any moves towards Taiwanese independence or splittist activities. Says both sides should continue to uphold the 1992 Consensus.