Taiwan elections: KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu widens lead in Kaohsiung

Opposition KMT looking to double the number of cities and counties it controls

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A Han Kuo-yu supporter watching results come in.

A Han Kuo-yu supporter watching results come in. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Even though the race for mayor of Kaohsiung was still not decided by 7 p.m., opposition Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was widening his lead over former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁).

At the same time, the KMT looked like taking back several cities and counties it had lost in its disastrous 2014 elections.

According to cable station SETN, Han had 519,934 votes or 50.4 percent and Chen 496,106 votes or 48.1 percent.

While only a handful of counties had declared clear results, with the losing candidate accepting his defeat, by 7 p.m. a trend became clear, with the KMT possibly doubling the number of cities and counties it controlled from the six in 2014 to about a dozen.

The opposition party had officially won the sparsely populated areas of Kinmen, Lienchiang, Hualien, Taitung and Nantou, as well as Yunlin County.

KMT candidates in New Taipei City and Taichung were leading at least for a time, while Yilan, Changhua and Penghu also looked likely to fall from the DPP into KMT hands, commentators said.

Taipei City looked like a close struggle between incumbent independent Ko Wen-je and former KMT legislator Ting Shou-chung.

DPP incumbents were holding on by large margins in Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, Tainan, Chiayi County and City, and Pingtung, reports said.