The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) maintained its majority in the Legislative Yuan in yesterday’s legislative elections. However, it suffered a setback in the number of seats won, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as well as smaller parties the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the People First Party (PFP), made gains.
According to the results announced by Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairwoman Chang Po-ya (張博雅) at about 10pm, out of the 73 seats to be filled by the nation’s electoral districts, the KMT won 44 districts, the DPP took 27 districts, the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU) took one district and another went to an independent candidate.
“As for the legislator-at-large seats, the KMT won 16 seats, the DPP 13 seats, while the TSU grabbed three seats and the PFP garnered two,” Chang told a press conference.
“For Aboriginal representation, the KMT won two Plains Aboriginal seats, the PFP won one, while the KMT took two seats for Mountains Aboriginal lawmakers and the NPSU won one,” she said.
The KMT received 47.58 percent of the at-large votes, the DPP received 36.98 percent, the TSU received 9.56 percent and the PFP received 5.86 percent.
Notably, though it did not pass the 5 percent threshold, the Green Party Taiwan won almost 230,000 at-large votes, which is more than four times the number of votes it received in the 2008 legislative election, when it won a little more than 58,000 votes.
According to the electoral system, 73 seats in the 113-seat legislature come from the nation’s 73 electoral districts, three seats are for Plains Aboriginal voters across the country, three seats are from Mountains Aboriginal voters, while voters cast a separate at-large ballot for political parties, with each party that received more than 5 percent of the vote allocated seats according to the percentage of votes it received.
In total, the KMT secured 64 seats in the new legislature, 17 seats fewer than the previous legislature, while the DPP won 40 seats, a 13-seat increase, and the PFP and the TSU each gained three seats.
“Of a total of 17,625,632 qualified voters, 13,170,279 cast their ballots, leading to a voter turnout of 74.72 percent,” Chang said.
“Meanwhile, 100,671 out of 171,548 qualified Plains Aboriginal voters cast their vote, making the turnout 58.68 percent, and 115,374 out of 183,398 qualified Mountains Aboriginal voted, making voter turnout 65.09 percent,” she said.
Commenting on the KMTs losing of 17 seats in the legislature, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who also doubles as his party’s chairman, acknowledged the situation would make the legislative process more difficult for his second administration, but he promised to seek cooperation from all parties in pushing through bills.
“We are still the majority in the legislature and we will adopt to the new situation and work with other parties ... We will respect the strength of opposition parties and act more humbly,” he said in a post-election press conference at his campaign headquarters in Taipei.
At her campaign headquarters in New Taipei City (新北市), DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) acknowledged that the party did not do well in central and northern Taiwan in the legislative elections, showing that it still has to work to do on its grassroots connections in local communities.
However, she added, the DPP did improve its standing in the legislature after a humiliating loss in the last legislative elections in 2008, when it won only 27 of the 113 seats against the KMT’s 81.
The election results showed that the DPP had failed to make a breakthrough in northern Taiwan, winning only one of eight seats in Taipei, two of 12 seats in New Taipei City (新北市) and none of the 10 seats in the Hakka constituencies of Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli.
Meanwhile, PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said his party, having garnered more than 5 percent of the vote, would speak for the people in the legislature and address matters concerning their plights, such as the widening gap between rich and poor.
Additional reporting by Shelley Shan