Tai­wan rul­ing party suf­fers ma­jor elec­tion loss

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Second Front - By RALPH JEN­NINGS

TAIPEI, Tai­wan — Tai­wan’s rul­ing party was handed a ma­jor de­feat Satur­day in lo­cal elec­tions seen as a ref­er­en­dum on the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the is­land’s in­de­pen­dence-leaning pres­i­dent amid grow­ing eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal pressure from China.

Soon af­ter the re­sults came in, Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen re­signed as head of the Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party. She will re­main as pres­i­dent and her resignatio­n will have no di­rect ef­fect on the busi­ness of gov­ern­ment, al­though the re­sults bode ill for her re­elec­tion chances in two years.

The DPP lost the may­oral elec­tion to the Na­tion­al­ist party in the south­ern port city of Kaohsiung, where it had held power for 20 years. The Na­tion­al­ists also de­feated the DPP in the cen­tral city of Taichung, home to much of Tai­wan’s light in­dus­try, while Ko Wenje, the independen­t mayor of Taipei, the cap­i­tal, ap­peared on track to win a se­cond term.

At a brief news con­fer­ence at DPP head­quar­ters late Satur­day, Tsai an­nounced she was step­ping down as DPP chair and said she had re­fused Pre­mier Wil­liam Lai’s resignatio­n, say­ing she wanted him to con­tinue her re­form agenda.

As­so­ci­ated Press

— Taipei Mayor and city may­oral can­di­date Ko Wen-je casts his bal­lot at a polling sta­tion.

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