ELECTIONS 2022/President Tsai resigns as DPP chairperson after election setback (update)

11/26/2022 11:07 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen announces her resignation as the DPP chairperson at a news conference in Taipei Saturday evening. CNA photo Nov. 26, 2022
President Tsai Ing-wen announces her resignation as the DPP chairperson at a news conference in Taipei Saturday evening. CNA photo Nov. 26, 2022

Taipei, Nov. 26 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) resigned with immediate effect as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Saturday after the party suffered a crushing defeat in local elections that day.

In a speech at DPP headquarters, Tsai said that as party chairperson she humbly accepts and must shoulder responsibility for the party's disappointing election results.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) also verbally tendered his resignation, Tsai said, but added that she had asked him to stay in his post to ensure that the implementation of major policies is not interrupted.

Tsai attributed the DPP's election rout to its failure to change the political landscape at the local-government level, meet people's expectations, and offer quality candidates.

All these were reasons why the DPP was unable to appeal to the public again after the party's victories in the 2020 presidential and legislative elections, she said.

"Political parties and politicians are insignificant next to public opinion," Tsai said.

"The DPP would engage in solemn introspection and aspire to do a better job to meet people's high expectations," she said.

This is not the first time that the DPP has suffered a setback, and the party will not falter in the face of change and challenges, she said.

As the ruling party, the DPP will ensure that it is united in its administration to bring about security and development for the nation, she said.

She called for concerted efforts across party lines and closer cooperation between the central and local governments to revitalize the economy in the post-COVID-19 era and push through major policy initiatives.

"Taiwan cannot afford to falter under the current international political climate and in the face of future challenges. It must stride resolutely forward," the president said.

Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said that Su had agreed to stay on as premier to continue moving policy initiatives forward.

At a press event held at the party's headquarters, Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) hailed the party's election performance as a triumph not just for the KMT but for the people of Taiwan as a whole.

Chu added that it also served as a warning to the DPP, which the KMT chair said had been abusing power by mobilizing an "internet army" to attack nonsupporters.

Chu said that Saturday's election results offered the KMT a glimmer of hope for the 2024 presidential race.

KMT Chairman Eric Chu (left), accompanied by the party
KMT Chairman Eric Chu (left), accompanied by the party's VICE Chairman Sean Lien, makes a statement on Saturday's elections results in Taipei. CNA photo Nov. 26, 2022

He pledged that his party would continue to do its best in soliciting support from swing voters while upholding the sovereignty of the Republic of China, the de jure name for Taiwan.

Meanwhile, outgoing Taipei Mayor and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said victory in the Hsinchu mayoral election Saturday evening for the party's candidate Kao Hung-an (高虹安) showed that voters in the northern city had made a choice to break from the established pan-blue and pan-green camps.

The TPP, founded by Ko three years ago, ran candidates for Taoyuan mayor, Hsinchu mayor, and Yilan County magistrate. It also fielded 86 candidates in city and county councilors elections across Taiwan.

Ko also campaigned for independent Taipei mayoral candidate Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊), his former deputy, although she was defeated by Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) of the Kuomintang (KMT).

It is believed Kao's win could boost Ko's chances in the 2024 presidential election as he has already expressed his intention to run.

(By Sean Lin, Joseph Yeh and Evelyn Kao)

Enditem/ASG/AW

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