Taiwan elections: opposition KMT candidate has narrow lead in Kaohsiung

Lianjiang County incumbent declares victory

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Han Kuo-yu supporters waiting for results.

Han Kuo-yu supporters waiting for results. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With two hours of ballot counting past, Kuomintang challenger Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) held a slight lead over Democratic Progressive Party rival Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) in the Kaohsiung mayoral race.

By 6 p.m., Han had received 280,987 votes against 269,133 votes for Chen, according to cable station TVBS.

Commentators said a candidate needed at least 800,000 votes to win the hard-fought race for control over Southern Taiwan’s biggest city, with a population of 2.77 million.

The town has been considered a DPP stronghold, as its party members have been elected mayor for 20 years.

Elsewhere in the country, the first candidate to declare himself a winner emerged. In Lianjiang County, a small island county close to the coast of China’s Fujian Province, incumbent KMT magistrate Liu Tseng-ying became the first regional chief to claim victory.

Meanwhile, complaints emerged about the fact that while ballot counting was in progress, voters were still lining up waiting to cast their ballot, mostly due to the fact that there were 10 referendums available for voting as well.