The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday scored a massive win in the legislative by-elections, handing another loss to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which managed to secure only one out of four seats up for grabs.
According to the final election results released by the Central Election Commission (CEC), the DPP's candidate, Huang Jen-chu (黃仁杼), in Taoyuan County's third electoral district won 45,363 votes, defeating KMT candidate Apollo Chen (陳學聖) by 2,763 votes; DPP candidate Peng Shao-chin (彭紹瑾) in Hsinchu County received 71,625 votes, beating his KMT opponent Cheng Yung-tang (鄭永堂) by 15,283 votes; DPP candidate Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) in Chiayi County's second electoral district garnered 57,451 votes, easily beating KMT rival Lin Te-jui (林德瑞) by 30,313 votes.
The KMT's only victory was in Hualien, where its candidate Wang Ting-sheng (王廷升) took 39,379 votes against DPP opponent Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who had 33,249 votes, the CEC figures showed.
“The voter turnout in the four constituencies was 41.37 percent in Taoyuan County's third electoral district, 36 percent in Hsinchu County, 38.36 percent in Chiayi County, and 41.59 in Hualien County,” a CEC statement said. “The four legislators-elect will serve until the end of the seventh legislature [in 2012].”
Yesterday's electoral results will increase the amount of seats held by the DPP in the legislature, bringing its total number to 33, while the number of KMT lawmakers will drop to 74 seats.
Although the official tallies were not released until after 6:30pm, all four legislators-elect declared victory before 6pm. The CEC said the by-election results would be confirmed in a commission meeting next Friday.
All four legislative vacancies filled in the by-election yesterday were left open when then-legislators Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠) from Chiayi, John Wu (吳志揚) from Taoyuan, Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) from Hsinchu and Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) from Hualien were elected county commissioners in their respective constituencies in the December elections last year.
Yesterday's electoral results came as the second setback this year for the KMT after it lost all three seats in another legislative by-election earlier last month.
KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) yesterday apologized to supporters for the party's disappointing performance in the by-election, but pledged to continue with party reform and insisted on nominating candidates with integrity while nurturing young talent.
“We faced a tough battle in the by-election, and obviously we did not work hard enough. I need to apologize to our supporters, but we will continue with party reform and stay firm on our principles,” King said in a post-election press conference at KMT headquarters. “I want to apologize to our supporters again. We've done our best, and both the government and the party will re-examine ourselves.”
The by-election yesterday was King's first election since taking up the post of party secretary-general late last year. The post puts him in charge of the nomination process and election campaigning.
King said he talked to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, and Ma also stressed the importance of continuing with party reform regardless of election results.
King said the party was under great pressure during the nomination process, and its victory in Hualien yesterday showed that the KMT's insistence on nominating a candidate with integrity would win support from local voters.