Sun, Dec 12, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Pan-blues retain majority

The KMT emerged the big winner in the legislative elections, gaining 11 seats more than 2001's poll, while the losses of its ally the PFP meant the pan-blues ended up with one less seat overall. The DPP gained two seats, well short of its pre-election hopes, and conceded last night

By Lindy Yeh  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung and DPP chairman and President Chen Shui-bian, left to right, bow to apologize for the pan-green camp's failure at the DPP's headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

The pan-blue camp, consisting of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party, yesterday managed to retain a legislative majority, winning 114 seats in of the 225-seat legislature.

The pan-greens won 101 seats, with 89 of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidates winning seats, up from 87, while its ally the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) won 12, down from 13. The Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU, 無黨團結聯盟) won six seats and the independents accounted for four.

Yesterday's voter turnout marked a historic low of just 59.16 percent of the nation's roughly 16 million voters eligible for this election, far lower than the Central Election Commission's (CEC) prediction of 67 percent one day earlier.

Among the four major parties, the KMT enjoyed the biggest leap in seats won, jumping from 68 seats in 2001's legislative poll to 79. The PFP suffered a decline, losing 12 of the 46 seats won in 2001. The New Party retained one seat.

The DPP remains the biggest party in the legislature.

"The showing is a victory for the pan-blues as well as for the Republic of China (ROC). The result shows that the people are longing for the nation's welfare. They wish for stability, development and reform. Of paramount importance, it shows the people's wishes are with us, the whole pan-blue alliance," KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday after all votes were counted.

Lien vowed to stick to the party's commitment to issues regarding national identity, cross-strait relations, social harmony, the nation's development and to push for passage of critical draft bills in the legislature.

"The election results suggest that the people are expecting to see a capable and efficient governing team. We will make an all-out effort to assist the governing authorities, encourage more negotiation and dialogue and work together with the governing team," Lien said.

Lien did not elaborate on whether the pan-blues will attempt to form the Cabinet as he had pledged to do before the election.

According to KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正), the pan-blue alliance, boosted by two other KMT candidates who had won election but had run in the poll without the party's consent, the pan-blues will in fact control 116 seats in next legislature.

Over at the pan-green camp, DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and deputy secretary-generals Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) yesterday offered to resign to take responsibility for the party's failure to win a legislative majority.

Chang, who was fourth on the party's legislator-at-large list, also offered to relinquish his legislative seat. As of press time, DPP chairman President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had not approved their resignations.

Chen, in a gesture to distinguish himself from Lien -- who hasn't yet conceded his defeat in March's presidential election -- expressed complete acceptance of the result in a concession speech last night.

"The DPP completely accepts the election result. We express congratulations to the elected candidates and our condolences to the defeated ones," Chen said.

Chen expressed thanks to the leaders of the four major parties for their efforts to support a smooth and peaceful election.

"Although the DPP has gained one more seat compared with the previous election, and the party's showing in this election also increased from last time's 33.38 percent to 35.72 percent, we will still conduct an overhaul of the party," Chen said.

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