TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Kuomintang (KMT) legislator-at-large and former Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was elected speaker of the Legislative Yuan on Thursday (Feb. 1).
The 11th Legislative Yuan commenced with a vote for speaker, but in the first round of voting there was no clear winner. In the second round, eight legislators from the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) abstained, and Han emerged victorious with 54 votes.
He bested his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rival You Si-kun (游錫堃), who was making a re-election bid, but received three fewer votes at 51, reported Liberty Times.
After the 2024 general election, there was a restructuring of the political landscape in the legislature. The KMT secured 52 seats, regaining its status as the largest party, while the DPP won 51 seats.
The TPP gained eight seats, and there were two independent legislators aligned with the pan-blue coalition.
Regarding the selection of candidates for the positions of speaker and deputy speaker in each party, the DPP nominated legislators You and Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌). The KMT nominated legislators Han Kuo-yu and Johnny Chiang (江啟臣). The TPP decided that at-large legislator Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) would vie for speaker, while selection of the deputy speaker would be determined after the speaker election results were announced.
Han Kuo-yu thanks supporters after being elected speaker. (CNA photo)By law, the election of the speaker and deputy speaker is determined by obtaining a majority of votes from the members present. In the first round of voting, if no candidate receives the required majority, a runoff is held between the two candidates with the highest number of votes. The candidate with the most votes in the runoff is then declared the winner.
Based on an estimate of the number of people in each party, Huang was originally expected to receive eight votes, but ultimately only secured seven votes.
TPP Legislator Chen Gau-tzu (陳昭姿) admitted on Facebook that, while she intended to vote for Huang for the position of speaker, her vote was deemed invalid because ink from a chop had smudged on her finger, which left a mark on the ballot. She apologized to TPP members and supporters.
A vote for the deputy speaker was held at 2:30 p.m., with the KMT's Chiang receiving 54 votes, the DPP's Tsai receiving 51 votes, and the TPP's Chang Chi-kai (張啓楷) receiving 8 votes. As no candidates received a majority of the votes a second round of voting was launched, with Chiang emerging as the winner with 54 votes to Tsai's 51, while the TPP again abstained.