Taiwan 2024 election: DPP’s Lai Ching-te wins

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Supporters of the Democratic Progressive party (DPP) await the announcement of official results at a rally on January 13, 2024 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Annabelle Chih | Getty Images News | Getty Images

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party is set to win an unprecedented third-straight presidential term, though it remains unclear if leader Lai Ching-te will have a parliamentary majority which may hobble his legislative agenda for the self-governing island.

DPP’s Lai — Taiwan’s current vice-president — has won more than 40% of the popular vote in Taiwan’s eighth direct presidential election that Beijing has framed as a choice between “peace and war, prosperity and decline.”

Kuomintang or KMT, seen friendlier toward Beijing, had roughly 33% of the vote with leader Hou You-yi conceding defeat. Ko Wen-je — the surly, straight-talking former Taipei mayor who ran under the banner of Taiwan Party’s Party that was formed only in 2019 — received just over 26%.

The outcome of the presidential election is likely to rile Beijing, which has repeatedly labeled Lai as a “stubborn worker for Taiwan independence” and a dangerous separatist. There are also fears this could in turn influence frosty China-U.S. relations and security in the broader Indo-Pacific region, with China having escalated military activity in the Taiwan Strait and other nearby waters.

The new government will also have its hands full, with voters largely concerned with bread-and-butter issues, particularly stagnant wages at a time of escalating rents and home prices that’s worsened by high inflation.

Voter turnout appeared to be the second-weakest since direct presidential elections started in Taiwan in 1996. This year, only 71.7% of all eligible voters cast their ballots for the presidential election, according to preliminary data from Taiwan’s Central Election Commission.

China has never relinquished its claim over Taiwan — which has been self-governing since the Chinese nationalist party, or Kuomintang, fled to the island following its defeat in the Chinese civil war in 1949.

Chinese President Xi Jinping regards reunification with the mainland “a historical inevitability” even though Taiwan is self-governing since the Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, fled to the island following its defeat in the Chinese civil war in 1949.

Xi told U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on the sidelines of the APEC leaders summit in November that Taiwan has always been the “most important and sensitive” issue in China-U.S. relations.

Biden has pledged to defend Taiwan in the event of a China invasion, a position that has irked Beijing.

Former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island in over two decades. Her trip was one reason that communication between the world’s two leading powers ground to a halt before a tentative resumption only months ago.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for more updates.

Sumber: www.cnbc.com

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