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.
Articles about voting issues in Taiwan.
Taiwan: Nationalists suffer historic defeat with election of first female president | Los Angeles Times
Taiwan’s voters handed the long-ruling Nationalists a historic defeat on Saturday, kicking the party of Chiang Kai-shek out of the presidential palace and stripping it and its allies of a parliamentary majority for the first time since the island’s modern political period began in 1949. But even as President-elect Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party proclaimed that a “new era” was dawning on the island of 23 million, the biggest question mark hanging over the incoming administration and legislature was how it would deal with the sensitive subject of relations with mainland China. Tsai, a 59-year-old lawyer-turned-politician with advanced degrees from U.S. and British universities, was elected with 56% of the vote, becoming Taiwan’s first female president and trouncing the Nationalist Party’s Eric Chu, who got just 31%.
Chen Erdong, a 28-year-old telecommunications engineer from mainland China, has visited Taiwan twice in the last two months, but it’s not the usual tourist sites such as the National Palace Museum or Sun Moon Lake that have him so intrigued. Instead, he’s been checking out novelties such as street parades packed with flag-waving partisans, noisy political debate shows on TV and campaign swag stamped with the photos and cartoon likenesses of candidates vying to become Taiwan’s next leaders. On Saturday, Taiwanese voters will pick a new president and parliament, something people in communist-run mainland China cannot do. “For me, it’s most important to know what the Taiwan public is feeling,” said Chen, who added he has taken every opportunity to broach politics with salespeople, travel guides and hotel owners. “If you understand the election results, you can figure out people’s attitude toward the mainland.” Taiwan’s elections, he added circumspectly, might be able to “open the eyes” of mainland Chinese.
Voters in Taiwan are expected to make history again when they go to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president and legislature. China’s authoritarian government claims Taiwan as part of its territory, so any time the self-governing island holds an election, the world tends to pay attention. Taiwan held its first direct presidential election only 20 years ago. China’s president, by contrast, is selected by the governing Communist Party, not elected by the public. Tsai Ing-wen, the chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, is widely expected to become Taiwan’s first female president. Her party has traditionally favored formal independence for the island, so Beijing will not be pleased if she wins. Ms. Tsai, however, has pledged to maintain the cross-strait status quo. A victory for Ms. Tsai would be only the second time the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party, has lost the presidency since Chiang Kai-shek’s forces fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
The onlookers are greying professors and teenaged students, a publisher of banned books, a sportswear salesman and more than a few people intent on undermining the Chinese Communist Party. They have flown to Taiwan on the eve of an election set to dethrone a party that has cultivated warmer ties with Beijing, and elevate instead a party with a history of seeking independence from China – led by a woman who, if polls are to be believed, will become the first female leader of a Chinese nation in modern history. For the Hong Kong activists and Canadian Taiwanese amid the foreign spectators, Taiwan’s Saturday ballot marks a chance to witness history and get swept up in the boisterousness of a campaign, but also to draw inspiration. Taiwan is the only mature democracy in the Chinese world, and for those seeking the same elsewhere, it offers as vision of what is possible.
With just days to Taiwan’s elections, the presidential race is heating up online. All three parties are putting everything they have into the battle to win young voters, with Facebook, Line and Instagram as the three key theatres of engagement. Eric Chu from the Kuomintang (KMT) and James Soong from the People First Party (PFP) are both using social media to get their message out to the electorate. Chu’s Facebook page not only carries his campaign commercials, it also features short videos and cartoons to illustrate his policies. And his latest video has roused the curiosity of many netizens. “The video has no sound, but you can see a ray of light moving across the chairman’s forehead over and over,” said Hsu Chiao-Hsin, spokeswoman for KMT’s presidential campaign. “It quickly got many netizens talking, asking why is his forehead shining with light? What does it mean? Many people are curious.”
Undeterred by the rain, the crowd leaps to its feet shouting “We’re going to win” in Taiwanese as their presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, begins her stump speech. Some rattle piggy banks to show that their party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), relies on, and serves, the little guy—as opposed to the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), backed by businesses and fat cats and one of the world’s richest political institutions. Taiwan’s voters go to the polls on January 16th in what is likely to prove a momentous election both for the domestic politics on the island and for its relations with the Communist government in China that claims sovereignty over it. Eight years of uneasy truce across the Taiwan Strait are coming to an end. Since taking office in 2008, the outgoing president, Ma Ying-jeou, has engineered the deepest rapprochement between Taiwan and China ever seen, signing an unprecedented 23 pacts with the mainland, including a partial free-trade agreement. It culminated in an unprecedented meeting in November between Mr Ma and Xi Jinping, China’s president, in Singapore. But if the rapprochement under Mr Ma was a test of whether closer ties would help China’s long-term goal of peaceful unification, it failed.
A candidate in Taiwan’s imminent parliamentary elections has had his Hong Kong visa application denied for a second time after being invited to join a news programme at CNN’s regional headquarters in the city. Huang Kuo-chang, a New Power Party candidate running in next week’s Legislative Yuan polls, posted a message on his Facebook page on Tuesday saying that he was invited by join a CNN programme hosted by anchor Kristie Lu Stout. “I admire this famous CNN anchor, and the theme was meaningful, so I was going to agree to that,” Huang said. “However, the programme would be produced in Hong Kong, and my visa application was denied […] in 2014; I just tried to apply once again, and I was still denied entry.”
Taiwan police have arrested 45 people involved in a betting ring worth more than US$40 million a year including wagers on the upcoming elections, officials said Monday (Jan 4), adding the racket could have influenced voting. Police launched weekend raids on 31 venues across the island and made the arrests on charges of gambling and obstructing votes, prosecutors said. “As the ring had so many posts islandwide and so many gamblers were involved, we fear that the gambling could influence the outcome of the election,” said Wang Yi-wen, spokesman for the Taoyuan Prosecutors’ Office.
China on Thursday warned of a serious disruption of ties with Taiwan as the island’s voters appear set to elect a new president with a far more skeptical view of dealings with Beijing. The year ahead is bringing “complex changes” and the sides face “new challenges,” the director of the Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office Zhang Zhijun said in a News Year’s greeting to Taiwan’s 23 million people. Recalling the progress in relations made over the past seven-plus years under Taiwan’s China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou, Zhang said he hoped Taiwanese realized those gains could evaporate if the island defied China’s insistence that it remained a part of the Chinese nation. “We don’t want to wait until the street light goes out to appreciate the illumination it has brought, or to wait until the fruits of peaceful development are lost to appreciate their value,” Zhang said.