The winner of the presidential election on Saturday last week should be humble and take care of the people, while the defeated should continue working hard and remember the hopes of others, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said in a video posted online yesterday.
Lee said that every election has winners and losers and that they have different responsibilities.
“The winner should be more humble and, as the country’s leader, take care of all the people,” Lee said in a Lunar New Year message.
“Do not forget that nearly half of the population is dissatisfied with their lives, and the country still has to face many challenges,” Lee cautioned President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who won re-election on Jan. 14.
Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) lost to Ma of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) by a 6 percent margin, or nearly 800,000 votes.
Lee said Tsai has responsibilities toward those who supported her.
“A lot of people have placed their hopes on the losing candidate. The defeated should continue carrying out her responsibility of encouraging others and continue to work hard,” he said.
The 89-year-old former president stumped for Tsai at an election-eve rally despite having undergone cancer surgery just weeks earlier, which many in Tsai’s campaign had hoped would give her a boost and put her over the top.
Regardless of the race’s outcome, Lee praised this year’s peaceful election as a sign that democracy was progressing and that it had become a shared value.
He warned, however, that only by maintaining Taiwan’s autonomy could democracy be sustained.
“We should have faith and continue working hard to enable Taiwan to become a truly democratic, free and prosperous normal country and to establish a fair and just society,” Lee said.