Taiwan legislative by-elections produce mixed results

DPP keeps New Taipei and Tainan seats, KMT holds Changhua but loses Kinmen


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held on to two legislative seats while the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) kept one but lost another in legislative by-elections Saturday mostly caused by lawmakers winning mayoral elections last November.

While the election results failed to change the balance of power at the DPP-dominated Legislative Yuan, they were widely seen as a testing ground for next January’s presidential elections, which will be combined with elections for all 113 legislators. Several of the potential presidential contenders made appearances during the campaign with Saturday’s candidates, plodding through throngs at night markets or speaking at rallies.

In the New Taipei City district of Sanchong, traditionally seen as a DPP stronghold, singer Yu Tien (余天) succeeded in beating off a challenge from KMT candidate Cheng Shih-wei (鄭世維) to regain a seat he had held before.

During the campaign, Cheng had relied on the support of several top KMT politicians, including the popular new mayor of Kaohsiung City, Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), whose enthusiastic supporters have been pushing him to run for president.

In Tainan City, also a DPP stronghold, ruling party candidate and former deputy labor minister Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文) defeated challenger Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) of the KMT, despite the presence on the ballot of a third candidate who broke away from the DPP to split the “green” vote.

Chen Hsiao-yu (陳筱瑜) received a last-minute endorsement from Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) but finished a distant third, ahead of three other independents.

In Central Taiwan’s Changhua County, Ko Cheng-fang (柯呈枋) kept a seat for the KMT by defeating the former DPP mayor of Lukang, Huang Chen-yen (黃振彥).

On the island of Kinmen close to the coast of the Chinese province of Fujian, one of the five independent candidates, Chen Yu-chen (陳玉珍), defeated KMT contender Hung Li-ping (洪麗萍) and proclaimed her victory early in the evening. The DPP did not nominate any candidate.