Elections 'a lesson from democracy' for DPP: president - Focus Taiwan

Elections 'a lesson from democracy' for DPP: president

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, center)
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, center)

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) major defeat in local government elections on Saturday was a lesson the party has learned from democracy, and the party accepted the defeat humbly, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Saturday.

"Facing all sorts of challenges at home and from abroad, insisting on doing the right thing was like walking on a path thickly sown with thorns that was bound to leave us with wounds," Tsai said. "But I would like to say to all DPP comrades and supporters, we have to stick to doing what is right."

"No matter how many scars we may carry and how harsh it may be, the nation needs to move ahead," Tsai said in brief remarks at the DPP's headquarters Saturday night in which she also resigned as the party's chairperson. "It's our duty to safeguard the nation's future."

Tsai apologized to the party's supporters for the party's disappointing performance.

The president said her administration is moving in the right direction and has launched several major reforms over the past two years since she came into office, but she admitted that Taiwanese people are clearly setting an even higher standard for the party.

Held alongside 10 referendums, the "nine-in-one" elections that selected candidates to run Taiwan's 22 cities and counties has dramatically reshaped Taiwan's political landscape as they did in the last polls in 2014.

The DPP lost seven of the 13 cities and counties it currently holds -- the special municipalities of Taichung and Kaohsiung, Chiayi City, and Yilan, Yunlin, Changhua and Penghu counties -- to the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

Of the 22 races, the DPP was left with six, including the special municipalities of Taoyuan and Tainan, Keelung and Hsinchu cities, and Chiayi and Pingtung counties.

Winning at least 15 seats, the KMT regained its footing after being badly defeated in the 2014 local elections, when it was left with only six seats, and its loss of the presidency in 2016.

The KMT kept all of the seats it previously held in New Taipei, Miaoli, Nantou, Taitung and Lienchiang counties, won the seven from the DPP, and also won KMT-aligned Kinmen County and Hualien County previously run by independents.

Independent Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) appeared to have won re-election in Taipei by a very narrow margin, but votes were still being counted as of 1:48 a.m. Sunday.

At KMT headquarters, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) led a group of officials in bowing to voters to show their gratitude, saying that the party will demand all mayor and magistrate-elects to faithfully perform their duties and to live up to the public's expectations.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)


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