In Taiwan, the counting of votes cast in Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary elections is underway, reports American television CNN. According to preliminary results, five million voters voted for the favorite of the race, current vice president Lai Ching-te, whom the authorities in Beijing consider a “separatist”. His rival admitted defeat.
Lai Ching-te declared that he intended to reduce his economic dependence on China and continue to strengthen relations with the United States. His main opponent, the candidate of the opposition party Hou Yu-ih from the Kuomintang, supports rapprochement with mainland China.
In the race for the 8th president Taiwan Three candidates ran: Lai Ching-te, also known by his English name William, for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-ih of the main opposition Nationalist Party (KMT), and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan Party People’s Party (TPP).
The winner, i.e. the person who receives a simple majority of votes, will replace current president Tsai Ing-wen. Her second, and legally last, term expires on May 20.
Voters also decided on the division of seats in the unicameral parliament – the Legislative Yuan, which has 113 members of parliament.
Main photo source: RITCHIE B. TONGO/EPA/PAP