Taiwan News: DPP's Ho Takes Taipei By-Election, KMT's Shen Wins in Taichung

Taiwan News: DPP's Ho Takes Taipei By-Election, KMT's Shen Wins in Taichung
Credit: 何志偉 / Facebook

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Mark Ho (何志偉) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was elected legislator in Taipei’s Shilin-Datong district in a Sunday by-election, beating his Kuomintang (KMT) and independent challengers amid a turnout of just 30.39 percent.

Ho won 47.76 percent of the vote while KMT candidate Chen Ping-fu (陳炳甫) picked up 39.02 percent. Chen Su-yu (陳思宇), who was backed by Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), won just 12.2 percent of the votes, finishing in third place, according to CNA.

In Taichung’s fifth electoral district, the KMT’s Shen Jhih-hwei (沈智慧) was elected legislator, picking up 57.8 percent of the votes cast to easily beat DPP candidate Wang Yi-chuan (王義川), who garnered 38.42 percent of the vote.

Credit: 勤岸 / CC BY-SA 3.0
Shen Jhih-hwei won the Taichung by-election on Sunday, Jan. 27.

The Taichung race was also marked by low turnout, with only 25.34 percent of eligible voters casting ballots on Sunday, according to the Central Election Commission.

The Taipei by-election was held to replace former DPP legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), who resigned during his unsuccessful run for Taipei mayor last November.

In Taichung, the by-election was held to fill the vacant seat of newly elected mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) of the KMT, who also resigned her position during her mayoral run.

Read More: The Upcoming Taipei By-Elections Will Measure Ko Wen-je's Political Power

KMT plans to establish US presence

Taiwan’s opposition KMT plans to establish an official presence in the United States, perhaps in the form of a foundation, ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to the South China Morning Post.

SCMP reports the opposition party, which favors warmer cross-Strait ties and eventual unification with China, wishes to bolster its presence in the U.S. and potentially allow presidential candidates to test the waters by visiting Washington.

The DPP, which has long maintained an office in Washington, plans to send a group of lawmakers to the U.S. next month to meet members of Congress and other officials.

Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, who is said to be mulling a presidential run in 2020, is reportedly planning to visit the U.S. in March, although he has remained coy about his plans.

The KMT opened an office in the U.S. in 2004, but it was closed in 2008 after Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) won the presidency. KMT leaders believe the DPP’s presence in Washington makes it more urgent for the opposition party to increase its footprint in the U.S., SCMP reports.

Credit: Gigi Wu / Facebook
Gigi Wu, also known as the 'Bikini Hiker,' passed away after falling down a ravine.

Other news from Taiwan:

► The media, here in Taiwan and around the world, should stop and reflect on its appalling treatment of Taiwanese hiker Gigi Wu (吳季芸), who died last week after falling down a ravine in Yushan National Park, writes Arwa Mahdawi in a must-read editorial. (The Guardian)

► Chen Chao, an assistant professor at Xiamen University’s Taiwan Research Institute, gives a rare take from across the Strait on why Taiwanese people struggle to adapt to life in China. (Sixth Tone)

► Over 40,000 people attended banquets held yesterday to aid the homeless or disadvantaged ahead of Lunar New Year on Feb. 5. (Taipei Times)

► 15 suspects were arrested on Saturday in New Taipei for allegedly creating a massive cryptocurrency scam, defrauding over 30 people of NT$250 million (US$8.13 million) in an IBCoin investment scheme. (CNA)

► “The Way Home,” a Taiwanese documentary on endangered species, picked up three awards for excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition. (Taipei Times)

► Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) speaking at a ceremony to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, said Taiwan can learn from Germany and Israel in its pursuit of transitional justice. (Taipei Times)


Read Next: OPINION: A Taiwan Betel Nut Store Reveals a Deeper Culture of Insensitivity

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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