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Lai Ching-te sworn in as Republic of China president

05/20/2024 09:20 AM
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CNA photo May 20, 2024
CNA photo May 20, 2024

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was sworn in on Monday as the fifth popularly elected president of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name.

With Lai, 64, and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) taking office, the DPP will be the first ruling party to govern for a third consecutive four-year term since Taiwan held its first direct presidential election in 1996.

At their inauguration ceremony held at the Presidential Office, the great seal of the nation was handed over to Lai by Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Kuomintang (KMT), symbolizing Lai's assumption of office as head of state.

The swearing-in ceremony was also attended by outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

(Click here to read an updated story)

CNA photo May 20, 2024
CNA photo May 20, 2024
President Lai Ching-te (center), Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim (right) and former President Tsai Ing-wen greet the public following the swearing ceremony at Presidential Office in Taipei Monday. CNA photo May 20, 2024
President Lai Ching-te (center), Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim (right) and former President Tsai Ing-wen greet the public following the swearing ceremony at Presidential Office in Taipei Monday. CNA photo May 20, 2024

A four-term legislator and two-term mayor of Tainan, Lai was Taiwan's premier from 2017 to 2019 under the Tsai administration and later became Tsai's deputy in 2020 when she began her second term.

Lai is also the first vice president to become president since presidents in the country have been popularly elected.

Lai and Hsiao won election on Jan. 13 after winning about 40 percent of the votes in the 2024 presidential election, keeping the DPP in power for another four years.

Candidates of the opposition KMT and Taiwan People's Party, who tried but ultimately failed to form a unified presidential ticket, split the remaining 60 percent.

The DPP, however, lost its majority in the Legislature after losing seats in legislative elections held the same day.

The KMT now has 52 seats in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan, while the DPP controls 51, the Taiwan's People Party has eight, and two are independents ideologically aligned with the KMT.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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> Chinese Version

Update

May 20

U.S., Japan congratulate Lai on his inauguration as president

● Lai underscores democracy, 'four-pillar plan' for defense, diplomacy

● Lai urges Beijing to recognize ROC, calls for dialogue at inauguration

● Full text of President Lai Ching-te's inaugural address

● Taiwan celebrates inauguration of new president

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