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Results of lawmaker by-elections expected around 8 p.m.

2019/03/16 12:40:22

Taipei, March 16 (CNA) The results of Saturday's legislative by-elections in four of Taiwan's cities and counties are expected to be known around 8 p.m., according to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

The by-elections, kicked off at 8 a.m. and running till 4 p.m., will allow voters to choose lawmakers to fill four vacant seats in the Legislative Yuan. The seats were vacated due to the lawmakers who held them winning posts in recent local elections or being sentenced to prison for corruption.

Each of the four positions are in one electoral district in New Taipei City, Tainan City, Changhua County and outlying Kinmen County, the CEC said.

Based on previous elections, the CEC said the results will become known around 8 p.m., after the vote count is completed, and the commission will issue a formal announcement of the winners by March 23.

In the third electoral district in Taiwan's most populous city New Taipei, three candidates are on the ballot: the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT's) Cheng Shih-wei (鄭世維), the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) Yu Tien (余天) and independent Su Ching-yen (蘇卿彥), the CEC said.

(Cheng Shih-wei)

(Yu Tien)

In the second electoral district of Tainan, six candidates are running for a legislative seat: they are the DPP's Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文), the KMT's Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) and independent candidates Chen Hsiao-yu (陳筱諭), Wu Ping-hui (吳炳輝), Hsu Kuo-tung (徐國棟), and Yang Hsiao-ju (楊筱如), the CEC added.

Four candidates meanwhile are competing in the first electoral district of Changhua County: they are the DPP's Huang Cheng-yen (黃振彥), the KMT's Ko Cheng-fang (柯呈枋), the opposition New Power Party's Yang Tse-min (楊澤民), and independent Chi Ching-tang (紀慶堂), according to the CEC.

In Kinmen, voters have six candidates to choose from: the KMT's Hung Li-ping (洪麗萍), independent candidates Chen Tsang-chiang (陳滄江), Tsai Hsi-hu (蔡西湖), Chen Yu-chen (陳玉珍), and Lu Kuan-yu (盧冠宇), as well as the opposition Kinmen Kaoliang Party's Hung Chih-heng (洪志恆), the CEC said.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) accompanied DPP candidate Yu Tien to go to vote in the polling station located in Sanchong of New Taipei City, while Eric Chu, former chairman of the KMT, accompanied candidate Cheng Shih-wei to vote in a polling station also in Sanchong.

Tsai called for voters to cast their ballots.

(Cheng Shih-wei, center; Eric Chu, right)

Political observers said the by elections are expected to serve as a harbinger for the 2020 presidential election, so both the DPP and the KMT have tried their best to win votes.

Observers said the KMT is hoping the by-elections will extend its momentum from the nine-in-one local government elections in November 2018, when it won a majority of the seats and the DPP suffered a crushing defeat. The DPP, meanwhile, is hoping to make a small comeback, even if it is just four legislative seats.

The CEC reminded voters in the four electoral districts to be aware of the opening time of the polling stations, to bring their ID, personal stamp and election notices issued by the commission so that polling station workers can verify their identification.

Voters are banned from bringing mobile phones or cameras into the polling stations, an offense punishable by a fine ranging from NT$30,000 (US$970.9) to NT$300,000, the CEC said.

(By Yu Hsiang and Frances Huang)