Taiwan nationalists in huge win
Taiwan’s opposition nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) party has won a landslide victory in parliamentary polls, official results show.The KMT, which wants closer ties with China, secured 72% of the seats in the 113-seat chamber, beating President Chen Shui-bian’s party, the DPP.
The independence-leaning president said he was “shamed”, resigning as chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party.
The elections are seen as a barometer for the presidential poll on 22 March.
China regards Taiwan as a renegade province that should be reunified.
With all the votes counted, the KMT secured 81 seats, Taiwan’s election commission announced.
TAIWAN’S POLL RESULTS
KMT – 81 seat
DPP – 27 seats
other parties – 5 seats
The DPP got 27 seats (24%), while smaller parties won five seats.
Under a new electoral system, the number of seats in Taiwan’s new parliament has been cut from 225 to 113.
The change was adopted in 2005 to reduce corruption and improve efficiency but observers say the new system may marginalise smaller parties in favour of the DPP and the KMT.
A new voting system was also introduced whereby voters cast ballots for both a party and a particular candidate in their constituency.
Seventy-three seats were contested by a total of 296 individual candidates representing 12 parties, while 34 seats were to be allocated on a party list system. A further six seats were reserved for ethnic minorities.
Two referendums were held alongside the legislative election.
The first asked voters to support legislation to force the KMT to return state assets the DPP says were illegally amassed during the 1950s, while the other, tabled by the KMT, called for action against corrupt officials.
BBC China analyst Shirong Chen says the two main parties concentrated on local issues and shied away from discussing China in the run-up to the vote, a tactic the Chinese government has also adopted.
Beijing has learned from its past misadventures during Taiwanese polls that verbal warnings and missile tests would backfire in favour of candidates from the pro-independence DPP, our correspondent says.
China has been focusing on getting countries like the US and France to oppose Taiwan’s referendum on joining the UN, which will be held alongside the presidential election in March.
China has also been persuading Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing, prompting the Taiwanese foreign minister to make a futile trip to Malawi to consolidate bilateral ties.
Story from BBC NEWS:
This is a good day indeed for the KMT but a bad day for the pro-war DPP that have done nothing but tarnish Taiwan’s economy and image abroad. It is time for the madmen in Taiwan to lose their foothold on power after mismanaging the island for nearly 8 years and let the reformed conservative party regain control of government. Fruitless campaigns for the United Nations and needless antagonism with mainland China have done nothing but create internal strife in the island. The UN is not a democracy and it is sure as hell not for Taiwan regardless of how many people whine for it. Taiwan is not a country and it is not the second largest economy in the world so it should stop acting like one.
It is funny since the ROC’s Constitutional amendments were designed to reduce the KMT’s control of parliament while at the same time strengthening the DPP’s government control. The DPP had the assumption that the streamlined system with parallel voting for individual candidates and political parties would allow them to gain more seats since they actually believed that the average person in Taiwan would prefer a DPP candidate and the party over the KMT. And they sure were wrong according to these election results seeing that they actually brought the KMT a solid majority and this system will only allow for large parties to dominate in the long-run. They kind of copied Germany’s parliamentary system except they dedicated more seats towards individual candidates rather than parties.