Taiwan ruling party suffers major election loss
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.
— Taipei Mayor and city mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je casts his ballot at a polling station.