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July 24, 2017

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Tsai Ing-wen elected to former DPP chairwoman post by landslide

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen yesterday was elected to be the leading opposition party's chairwoman for the third time, besting her opponent with 93.71 percent of the total ballots.

Tsai last night released a press statement, saying that she does not have a "honeymoon" period this time as this will be her third time to lead the party. She said she will do her best to lead to party back to the ruling position.

Tsai said compared to what she says, she knows that the public cares more about what the party will do for the country. She said the DPP has to immediately rebuild the public's trust.

Over 100 poll booths around the island opened at 8 a.m. and closed at 4 p.m. yesterday. A total of 143,546 DPP members were eligible to vote in the elections.

Tsai's only opponent in the chairmanship election, former Deputy Magistrate of then-Kaohsiung County Kuo Tai-lin, delivered a speech saying that he is grateful to everyone who supports him.

Kuo said he knew at the beginning of the race about the expected difference between votes for Tsai and himself, and he is grateful that around 10 percent of DPP members voted for him.

Kuo urged Tsai not to run for president in the upcoming elections while serving as the party chairwoman, hoping Tsai will leave the opportunity to the DPP's younger generation.

Incumbent DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang yesterday morning cast his vote in Hsinchuang, New Taipei City. When asked what will be his next step, instead of offer a direct answer, Su said "I will walk out from this voting booth, get in a car and leave."

Former Premier Frank Hsieh previously had expressed his opinion regarding the chairmanship, saying that anyone who runs for the DPP chairmanship should not run for the presidential office. Many media outlets yesterday morning asked Hsieh if he still stands by his previous opinion. Hsieh said that he still believes his argument "sees a further and wider" picture, noting that, however, it is not appropriate to discuss the issue as the voting was still ongoing.

Around 6:35 p.m., before the final result of the DPP's chairmanship election came out, a bouquet of flowers ordered by President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as the ruling Kuomintang's (KMT) chairman, was delivered to the DPP's headquarters and addressed to Tsai.

KMT spokesman Charles Chen said it is a tradition to send a bouquet to the opposition party in the past, however, he did not expect the flower shop would be so efficient to deliver it before the election result came out. Chen said it is a little bit embarrassing, but the KMT does not mean to show disrespect to the DPP's other chairmanship candidate.

Apart from the party chairmanship, DPP members will also vote for representatives to the party's national party congress, along with heads and representatives of local branches.

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