Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) today embarked on a nine-day “thank you tour” to express her gratitude to voters for their support in the presidential election, making her first stop in her hometown in Pingtung County.
Tsai, who lost by about 800,000 votes to incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the Jan. 14 election, returned from her Lunar New Year break to travel nationwide to thank supporters and local campaign organizers. Her tour is scheduled to conclude on Feb. 5.
As per party custom, Tsai tendered her resignation as party leader following her defeat in the election and is expected to step down on March 1.
A more important part of traditional post-election practice is to listen to local people’s observations on the loss and their suggestions to the party, DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said. Their input will be included in the report on the election that Tsai has promised to deliver before stepping down as chairperson.
Tsai has said she would take a low-key approach on the trip. Dinners and tea parties will be held, with no more than 500 participants expected at each event, Chen said.
Most events will be closed to the media and public, he added.
Tsai is scheduled to visit Pingtung County and Greater Tainan today; Chiayi City, Yunlin County, Changhua County and Nantou County tomorrow; Penghu County and Greater Taichung on Monday; Greater Kaohsiung, Miaoli County and Hsinchu City on Tuesday; and New Taipei City (新北市) and Taipei on Wednesday.
She will then visit Taoyuan County, Hsinchu County and Chiayi County on Thursday; Kinmen on Friday; and Keelung and Yilan County on Feb. 4, before concluding her trip on Feb. 5 after visiting the eastern counties of Hualien and Taitung.
Tsai has said she would stay with the DPP and would establish an office to continue her social involvement and contributions to political debate.