The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took its first legislative seat in one of the nation’s outlying islands by winning the legislative race in Penghu County on Saturday.
DPP legislative candidate Yang Yao (楊曜), a Penghu councilman since 2005, beat veteran Legislator Lin Ping-kun (林炳坤) by a margin of 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent, ending years of efforts by the DPP to break Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-led pan-blue dominance in the county.
DPP candidates had lost to Lin by 20 percentage points and 11 percentage points in the 2004 and 2008 legislative races respectively.
However, in 2009, DPP candidate Tsai Chien-hsing (蔡見興) lost the county commissioner race by only 595 votes, or 1.3 percent, to Penghu County Commissioner Wang Chien-fa (王乾發), which gave the party a boost.
Yang appealed to voters with the slogan of “change,” while also highlighting the current government’s decision to slash the administrative budget for Penghu Hospital by half to NT$50 million (US$1.66 million) over a decade to underscore the county’s inadequate health resources.
He also said that Lin had failed to deliver on many of his campaign promises, which led to a desire for change among voters.
In the presidential race, -Penghu voters sided with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), but Ma’s margin of victory of 4.1 percent was smaller than the 6 percent he won nationally.