DPP retains legislative majority, KMT gains seats - Focus Taiwan

2020 ELECTIONS / DPP retains legislative majority, KMT gains seats

DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰, front, center)
DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰, front, center)

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Saturday maintained its majority in the Legislature, giving it a clear path to maintaining complete control of the government for the next four years.

The DPP won 61 seats, compared with the 68 it won in 2016, giving it a cushion of four seats about the 57 seats needed to claim a majority in the 113-seat Legislature, according to estimates.

While the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) won 38 seats, three more than four years ago, the DPP will have ideologically aligned smaller parties and independents it can count on if it needs additional votes on legislation.

The New Power Party kept its presence with three seats and the Taiwan Statebuilding Party took one seat, and four of the five independents are also part of the pan-green (pro-DPP) camp.

The most successful small party, however, was the Taiwan People's Party (TPP), formed in August 2019 by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

Although the TPP did not win any directly elected seats, it won 11.2 percent of the political party vote and five legislator-at-large seats, making it the third largest party in the Legislature.

The KMT will be disappointed by its showing, especially in southern Taiwan.

After appearing to make inroads into the region in the local elections of November 2018, it was once again shut out in districts stretching from Yunlin County to the southernmost Pingtung County, as was the case in the 2016 legislative elections.

In northern Taiwan, the KMT won four seats, DPP won three, and a pro-DPP independent took on in the capital city of Taipei, while DPP took nine of total 12 legislative seats in New Taipei.

In central Taichung city, the DPP and pan-green Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP) won six while the KMT dropped to two from the previous three.

Among the most notable legislative races, KMT incumbent Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) held onto his seat in Taipei's District 3 with a narrow win over Enoch Wu (吳怡農) of the DPP.

Both candidates are seen as rising stars in their respective parties.

DPP lawmaker Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘, front, right).
DPP lawmaker Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘, front, right).

Chiang, the great-grandson of former President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), is tipped as a future candidate for Taipei mayor, while Wu, the nephew of former DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-ren (吳乃仁), attracted considerable attention since he entered the race four months ago.

A number of incumbent lawmakers, including independent Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸); the KMT's Yen Kuan-heng (顏寬恒) and Shen Jhih-hwei (沈智慧) in Taichung; Lu Sun-ling (呂孫綾) of the DPP in New Taipei, and the DPP's Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) in Hualien, failed to win their re-election bids.

Hung, who won the legislative seat as an NPP member in 2016, lost to her KMT challenger -- Taichung Deputy Mayor Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔), by less than 1,000 votes.

Yen, son of Yen Ching-piao (顏清標), a former lawmaker and head of central Taiwan's religious center Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung, suffered a surprising defeat to newcomer Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) of the pro-Taiwan independence TSP.

Hsiao, meanwhile, lost to two-time Hualien County Magistrate Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁). The former KMT member now runs as an independent.

Eight-term KMT lawmaker Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) who served as a legislator for 27 years was beaten by her DPP opponent Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳).

Seven-term KMT legislator Shen, meanwhile, was upset by her DPP rival Chuang Ching-cheng (莊競程), a biomedical engineering professor.

In the Legislature, 73 lawmakers were directly elected in constituencies in a winner-take-all vote, six seats were reserved for indigenous candidates elected by indigenous voters, and 34 were designated as at-large seats and allocated based on a separate political party vote.

A political party had to win at least 5 percent of the party vote to be eligible for a share of the at-large seats.

In Saturday's legislative elections, the DPP won 48 of the 73 directly elected seats and 13 at-large seats, having gained 33.9 percent of the political party vote. The number was 10 percent less than four years ago, as many pro-green voters cast ballots for smaller parties.

The KMT took 25 directly elected seats and 13 at-large seats, with 33.3 percent of the party vote, a 6 percent increase from 2016.

In 2016, the DPP won 68 legislative seats, the KMT 35, the NPP five, the People First Party (PFP) two, while 1 to Non-Partisan Solidarity Union and one independent.

In the run up to the elections, KMT was projecting gaining a majority with at least 57 seats.

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(By Joseph Yeh)

Enditem/AW

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