The resounding landslide win of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen has not only successfully swept her into the presidential office, but also promised change as well. However, Ms Tsai and the newly elected legislature must address a solution to the political limbo that awaits them on the other side. A political limbo could occur as this is the first political party transition of the DPP holding both the presidency and legislative majority since the combined presidential-legislative elections began in 2012, resulting in a gridlocked government. This is due to how the new president is sworn into office on May 20, four months after Election Day. In the meantime, President Ma Ying-jeou and the Kuomintang (KMT) would continue to rule, opposed to the newly elected president and legislature. The question is whether or not Mr Ma goes back on his previous promises to support a system where the Cabinet would be determined by the majority party.
Many, ranging from pundits and scholars to politicians – such as Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je’s former campaign head Yao Li-ming – have placed their faith in Mr Ma’s past promises, which is unusual, considering Mr Ma’s unpopular ratings. The faith is not misplaced, however, since ushering in a peaceful political transition would be ideal for the Ma administration’s legacy.
DPP presidential candidate Tsai celebrating Saturday’s election victory at the party’s headquarters in Taipei. A political limbo ensues as she will be sworn into office only on May 20. PHOTO: REUTERS
Mr Ma should keep his promises and invite the majority party for discussions of a Cabinet reshuffle, stated Professor Wang Yeh-lih of the National Taiwan University in a telephone interview with The China Post.