Taiwan’s elections were “mostly free but partly unfair,” according to a preliminary report released on Sunday by a group of international observers. Saturday’s election saw incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou defeat opposition candidate Tsai Ing-wen by six percentage points. In the report compiled by the International Committee for Free Elections in Taiwan, the observers cited several factors that could have helped Ma gain more votes than the opposition.
They included widespread media reports of vote-buying, the misuse of government power to investigate the opposition, and a large imbalance of campaign funds in favour of Ma’s Nationalists. “The fairness of the election is therefore weakened in a context where resources amongst the parties are so unequal,” the report said.
The report cited most of these behaviours as originating from Taiwan’s days of authoritarian rule, when the Nationalists were fully in charge.