Turnout in presidential race lowest in history - Focus Taiwan

Turnout in presidential race lowest in history

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) The turnout in Taiwan's presidential election was the lowest ever in the six direct presidential elections the country has held since 1996, according to data compiled by the Central Election Committee (CEC).

The CEC said turnout in Saturday's presidential vote was 66.27 percent, compared with 76.04 percent in 1996, 82.7 percent in 2000, 80.28 percent in 2004, 76.33 percent in 2008, and 74.38 percent in 2012.

The turnout figures were part of the CEC's formal announcement late Saturday that Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the chairwoman and candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, 民進黨) was elected president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the vote held the same day.

CEC Chairman Liu Yi-chou (劉義周) said Tsai and her running mate -- Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) -- won 6.89 million votes or 56.12 percent of the total valid votes cast.

It was a victory that had been widely anticipated for months, which may have been one of the factors contributing to the low turnout.

Tsai defeated Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the Kuomintang (KMT), who garnered 31.04 percent of the total valid votes, and James Soong (宋楚瑜) of the People First Party won 12.84 percent of the vote.

In the legislative race, the DPP won 68 seats out of the total 113, up from 40 in the previous elections four years ago to give it an absolute majority in the Legislature for the first time in history.

The KMT, which had been the majority party since 2008, won only 35 seats, sharply down from 64 in the last election, the CEC confirmed.

The nascent New Power Party (時代力量) won five seats to become the third largest party in the Legislative Yuan, followed by the PFP with three seats, the Non-Partisan Solidarity Alliance (無黨團結聯盟) with one seat and an independent with the final seat.

The CEC said turnout in single-member legislative constituency races was 66.58 percent and 66.25 percent for the political party vote that determined the distribution of at-large legislators.

In the votes for seats reserved for indigenous legislators, turnout was 57.66 percent for the vote for indigenous representatives in mountainous areas and 51.72 percent for the vote for indigenous representatives in low-lying areas.

(By Tai Ya-chen, Chen Chun-hua and Frances Huang; click here for the full coverage of the elections.)enditem/ls

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