Taiwan's President Tsai urges voters to buttress democracy by casting ballots

Presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, running mate William Lai optimistic about voter turnout amid fine weather

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) urged the public to come out and vote to “bolster democracy” as she cast her ballot during Saturday’s elections.

Tsai, who is seeking a fresh mandate from the electorate as the candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), arrived at the polling station at an elementary school in New Taipei around 9 a.m. She received a warm welcome from voters while waiting in line along with everyone else, and voting took about 20 minutes.

Apparently in a good mood, the president urged all eligible voters to exercise their voting right to honor the democratic values the country has fought hard to uphold. While polls have her as the favored candidate, Tsai declined to answer media questions about whether she is confident in her reelection or has breathed a sigh of relief.

Also seemingly upbeat, Tsai’s running mate former Premier William Lai (賴清德) finished voting early at a local temple in Tainan, a stronghold of the DPP in southern Taiwan. He said he believes the balmy weather will contribute to higher voter turnout and called upon the public, especially young people, to cast their ballots and help decide the future of the island country.

Vice President candidate William Lai (CNA photo)