DPP's Lin Ching-yi wins Taichung legislative by-election (update)

01/09/2022 10:37 PM
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Lin Ching-yi (right) and former lawmaker Chen Po-wei, whose seat Lin will assume after he was recalled in October. CNA photo Jan. 9, 2022
Lin Ching-yi (right) and former lawmaker Chen Po-wei, whose seat Lin will assume after he was recalled in October. CNA photo Jan. 9, 2022

Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) won Sunday's legislative by-election in Taichung's second district, defeating the Kuomintang's Yen Kuan-heng (顏寬恒) and three other candidates.

Lin received 88,752 votes, or about 51.46 percent of the total, against 80,912 votes, or 46.92 percent, for Yen. The other three candidates each got fewer than 650 votes, according to Taichung City Election Commission figures.

Turnout, including invalid votes cast, was 58.26 percent, the commission said.

The candidates were running for the position left vacant after former lawmaker Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party was removed from the Legislature in a recall election last October by a narrow margin of 4,466 votes.

Addressing supporters after her win, the 47-year-old Lin thanked everyone who helped her throughout the campaign process, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

She said she wanted to tell Yen, her KMT opponent, that the election was a reminder that in a democracy, the power is in the hands of the people.

When asked about the key to her victory, Lin said many voters in the district realized that the information released by the KMT while campaigning for Chen's recall was rife with inconsistencies, which led to voters choosing to support reform.

Lin is an obstetrician and was a legislator-at-large from 2016 to 2020.

Yen, also a former legislator, said to his supporters after his defeat that he would continue to work hard, and expressed his hope that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would devote more attention to Taichung's infrastructure, especially on air pollution issues that people in Taichung are most concerned about.

Yen was elected in 2013 to the Legislature in a by-election in the same district to replace his father Yen Ching-piao (顏清標) of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, who was sentenced to prison in November 2012 and expelled from the Legislature.

Yen Kuan-heng won a second term in the 2016 legislative election, but in 2020 he lost the seat by a margin of 5,073 votes, or about 2.3 percentage points to Chen, who became the Taiwan Statebuilding Party's only elected lawmaker.

In a press release, DPP Secretary-general Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) said he hoped Lin and independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐), who survived a recall election on Sunday, would continue to benefit the people in their constituency.

Shen Yu-chung (沈有忠), a political science professor at Tunghai University, told CNA that Lin's victory could be traced back to the 2020 presidential and legislative elections.

Although the Yen family has been a strong political presence in Taichung's second district for nearly three decades, voters there ended up casting votes more based on party affiliation than local factors in the 2020 vote, Shen said.

The DPP's all-out mobilization efforts in support of Lin's campaign was an attempt to recreate the same conditions, and it ended up being key to her victory, Shen said.

The KMT, on the other hand, felt that their association with Yen Kuan-heng would hurt his chances rather than help it, so it relied on the Yen family's resources to rally voters, Shen said.

(By Chao Li-yan, Hao Hsueh-chin, Huang Guo-fang, Wang Yang-yu, Wu Che-hao, Yeh Su-ping, and Chiang Yi-ching)

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