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ELECTION 2024/KMT's Hou concedes defeat in Taiwan presidential election

01/13/2024 08:07 PM
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Opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (front fifth left) speaks in New Taipei Saturday as he conceded defeat in Taiwan's 2024 presidential race. CNA photo Jan. 13, 2024
Opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (front fifth left) speaks in New Taipei Saturday as he conceded defeat in Taiwan's 2024 presidential race. CNA photo Jan. 13, 2024

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) has conceded defeat in the 2024 presidential race as Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) was headed to victory with most of the ballots counted.

At around 8 p.m. Saturday, Hou appeared onstage at a vote-counting venue in New Taipei's Banqiao District to address his supporters. He congratulated his main rival Lai on his victory.

He said he was sorry for letting his supporters down as he was unable to win the presidency to end the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) eight-year rule.

With 93 percent of Taiwan's 17,795 polling stations reporting, Hou had 33 percent of the vote, compared to 40 percent for Lai and 26 percent for Taiwan People's Party candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in the country's 2024 presidential election.

The result will not become official until confirmed by the Central Election Commission.

Lai's victory will give the DPP a third consecutive four-year term in office, unprecedented for any party in the Republic of China (Taiwan's official name) since the country held its first direct presidential election in 1996.

Lai will succeed President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who first took office in May 2016.

For Hou, it was a major disappointment after winning reelection as mayor in Taiwan's most populous city, New Taipei, by nearly 25 percentage points in November 2022, positioning him for a run at the presidency.

But he was held back by not being able to declare his candidacy too soon after winning reelection, and was in third in the polls for months because of his inability to even win over voters in his own party.

Click here to read an updated story.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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