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July 28, 2017

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KMT wins in a landslide

The opposition Kuomintang crushed the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in yesterday local elections, taking 14 of the 23 county and city government seats up for grabs.

The KMT's sweeping victory was doubly sweet as it managed to wrest back rule in Taipei and Ilan counties, both of which have been governed by the DPP for 16 and 24 years respectively. The KMT and DPP currently rule nine cities and counties each. The ruling party was able to retain only six.

The People First Party, the New Party and an independent each took captured one county.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, marking the victory with supporters, said the outcome was a "vote of no-confidence" for the DPP.

to win 10 local governments or lost Taipei County. More than 8.87 million of about 10 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the mostly uneventful voting day.

The DPP garnered about 41.95 percent of the votes, down from 45.27 percent in 2001. The KMT won 50.96 percent, up from 35.06 percent in 2001.

The PFP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union each won about 1.1 percent of the votes, but the TSU did not win any seats.

The NP received a meager 0.2 percent of votes, while independents obtained 4.65 percent.

The KMT also posted strong showing in the local council elections, winning pluralities of seats in many of them.

The main opposition party also won 173 of the 319 township governments, while the DPP only took 35. The PFP won three township governments, while independents and others grabbed 108.

Observers said the outcomes demonstrated voters' disappointment at the DPP, who has failed to break the cross-strait deadlock or revive the economy.

The DPP, which has risen to power partly on an anti-corruption platform, ironically has been plagued by a series of corruption scandals in recent months.

Its candidate in Ilan, former Justice Minister Chen Ding-nan, was dogged by allegations that one of his campaign aides bought votes.

DPP candidate Luo Wen-jia for Taipei County was also alleged to have broken the election law by paying allowances to supporters attending a massive rally last Sunday.

Chen, who headed Ilan County between 1981-89, lost his bid to rule the northeastern county again by a mere margin of about 8,000 votes to his KMT contender Lu Kuo-hua.

Luo trailed the winner, incumbent Legislator Chou Hsi-wei, by about 190,000 votes.

Apart from Taipei and Ilan counties, the KMT took Keelung City, Taoyuan County, Hualien County, Penghu County, Chiayi City, Nantou County, Changhua County, Taichung County, Taichung City, Miaoli County, Hsinchu County and Hsinchu City.

The DPP won in Tainan County, Tainan City, Kaohsiung County, Pingtung County, Yunlin County, and Chiayi County.

The PFP and the NP retained rule in Lienchang County (Matsu) and Kinmen County respectively. Taitung County went out an independent.

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