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Taiwan’s DPP wins legislative by-election in Nantou

Result marks first DPP victory since Vice President Lai became chairman

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DPP candidate Tsai Pei-hui before winning Saturday's legislative by-election in Nantou County. (CNA, Tsai Pei-hui office photo)

DPP candidate Tsai Pei-hui before winning Saturday's legislative by-election in Nantou County. (CNA, Tsai Pei-hui office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Pei-hui (蔡培慧) defeated former Nantou County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) of the Kuomintang (KMT) in a legislative by-election in Nantou County Saturday (March 4).

The vote was made necessary by the election of KMT Legislator Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) as Nantou County commissioner in nationwide regional elections last Nov. 24.

Saturday’s result marked the first victory for the DPP since Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) took over as party chairman in January, following the ruling party’s poor performance in the regional polls. The legislative district, which includes Nantou City and the townships of Zhushan, Mingjian, and Xinyi, was seen as a KMT stronghold.

During the counting of the votes after 4 p.m., Tsai established an early lead of about 1,000 votes, but finished almost 2,000 votes ahead, receiving 45,218 votes or 49.44% to Lin’s 43,293 or 47.34%, the Liberty Times reported. Almost half the eligible voters, or 46.35%, actually went to the polls, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Earlier in the day, police took in four people for questioning about cameras planted in flowerpots at polling stations, reportedly to record the identity of voters.

Lin, who served as legislator for the same seat before being elected county chief in 2014, had been sharply criticized for wanting to return to his old position. During the campaign, his past frequent trips to China at the taxpayers’ expense and the purchase of a house for his son also invited criticism.

In another legislative by-election in January, KMT Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) defeated DPP candidate Enoch Wu (吳怡農) for the seat vacated by the new mayor of the capital, Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安).