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ELECTION 2024/KMT's Hou calls for national unity post-election

01/13/2024 11:45 PM
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Kuomintang presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (left) and his running mate Jaw Shau-kong at a vote-counting venue in New Taipei's Banqiao District on Saturday. CNA photo Jan. 13, 2024
Kuomintang presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (left) and his running mate Jaw Shau-kong at a vote-counting venue in New Taipei's Banqiao District on Saturday. CNA photo Jan. 13, 2024

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), who lost the 2024 presidential race to Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), on Saturday urged all political parties to unite after the election to address the challenges facing Taiwan.

▶ KMT's Hou concedes defeat in Taiwan presidential election (update)

"This election was intense, but most importantly, I hope that all parties will unite after the election to address the challenges Taiwan faces," Hou said in his concession speech at a vote-counting venue in New Taipei's Banqiao District.

He emphasized the need for stability and security across the Taiwan Strait and urged the ruling party to "listen to the voice of the people" and build a clean and efficient government that Taiwanese can trust.

Visibly emotional, Hou expressed regret at not meeting his supporters' expectations and apologized for any disappointment he may have caused.

"I have let everyone down. I express my deepest apologies to everyone. I am sorry," said the New Taipei mayor, congratulating Lai and his running mate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) on their victory.

He pledged to redouble his efforts and work tirelessly for the country, vowing not to let down those who supported him.

Accompanied by his running mate, Jaw Shau-kong (趙少康), Hou arrived at the Banqiao venue along with party heavyweights, including KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), and King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), executive officer of Hou's election campaign.

Hou expressed his heartfelt thanks to his campaign team, singling out King for standing by him without hesitation during the most difficult period of the election campaign.

Hou on Saturday received 4,671,021 votes, or 33.49 percent of the total, trailing his main rival Lai, who took 40.05 percent of the vote, but ahead of Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of the smaller Taiwan People's Party (TPP), who garnered 26.46 percent, according to the official Central Election Commission (CEC) vote count.

According to the CEC, 19.55 million people from Taiwan's population of 23.4 million were eligible to vote this year, including around 1.028 million first-time voters. There were a total of 17,795 polling stations around Taiwan, it said, and voter turnout was 71.86 percent.

(By Kao Hua-chien and Christie Chen)

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