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Saturday, February 4, 2023

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After defeat in local elections: Taiwan’s president relinquishes party leadership

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as party leader after losing local elections. In a televised address Saturday night, Tsai said she took responsibility for the Progressive Democratic Party’s (DDP) poor performance.

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The islanders elected a total of 21 mayors and around 11,000 municipal councilors on Saturday. The opposition Kuomintang Party (KMT) was able to largely retain its electorate compared to the last elections in Taiwan four years ago, while the DDP suffered significant losses.

In the capital Taipei, a KMT candidate, Chiang Wan-an, has won the mayoral post. Chiang is the great-grandson of former military dictator Chiang Kai-shek.

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He fled from China to Taiwan in 1949 after the Kuomintang lost the civil war against the communists. The KMT is considered to be right-wing conservative and is intent on moving closer to China.

“The local elections here are not about China,” says Jieh-min Wu of the Academia Sinica research facility in Taipei. Instead, local issues in particular dominated the voting decisions of the Taiwanese.

The communist leadership in Beijing still regards the democratically governed island as part of the People’s Republic. Taiwan, on the other hand, has long seen itself as independent. Tensions between the two neighboring countries had recently increased significantly. (dpa)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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