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KMT wins in landslide poll victory

The main opposition Kuomintang yesterday swept the legislative elections, garnering almost three-quarters of the seats to deliver what the ruling Democratic Progressive Party described as its heaviest election blow ever.

The KMT won a total of 81 out of 113 seats up for grabs, while the DPP only took 27.

Despite the landslide victory, the KMT remained low-key.

“We understand that you have put faith in us, but our joy should last for only one night,” said KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung after the victory.

“I promise we will not abuse the power of the majority, but we will use it to stabilize society and unite people,” said Wu.

He also asked the nation to support KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou in the March race.

“This is the beginning of our responsibility,” said Ma, whose chances of winning have been sharply boosted by the landslide. “We must use this victory as the greatest tool for winning the presidential election.”

On the DPP side, President Chen Shui-bian assumed full responsibility for the heavy defeat by announcing his resignation as chairman of the ruling party.

“This is the worse defeat we’ve ever suffered since the DPP was founded,” a grave-looking Chen said.

In the last legislative elections, where each voter cast only one ballot to determine both the electoral and at-large seats, the KMT and “pan-blue” camp garnered 49.8 percent of the vote against the DPP’s “pan-green” camp — 46.3 percent.

The DPP had said earlier that it was aiming to win 50 seats in yesterday’s polls, but that proved to be over-optimistic.

The KMT swept all of the seats in many cities and counties, Taipei City being one of them.

None of the other political parties, except for the Non- Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU) and the People First Party, received any seats.

The NPSU took three, the PFP one, and one independent candidate was elected.

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 KMT wins in landslide poll victory 
Presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, third from right, speaks to supporters in front of the party’s headquarters, with party heavyweights, including chairman Wu Po-hsiung, third from left, honorary chairman Lien Chan, second from left, Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, far left, Ma’s running mate Vincent Siew, second from right, and vice chairman P.K. Chiang, far right. -- Akie Ang, The China Post

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