November 29, 2014 saw the first “block” 9-in-1 local elections in Taiwan, where nine elections were held concurrently on the same day. A total of 11,130 seats were up for grabs, including:
Of particular interests are the 22 city- and county-mayoral contests, since these make up most of the country’s largest cities. The elections saw a routing of the governing Kuomintang (KMT): the KMT previously held 15 of Taiwan’s but won just six seats in this election. The Democratic Progressive Party took 13, including four of Taiwan’s six special municipalities, with the DPP-backed independent Ko Wen-je taking the KMT-stronghold of Taipei.
Electoral statistics released by the Central Election Commission, tabulated below, shows the DPP’s decided wins in its traditional strongholds – such as Chen Chu’s 70.4 percent of the electoral votes in Kaohsiung – while the KMT’s wins are more marginal.
Analyses of the results have already begun, with many holding the line that the results signify a rejection of President Ma Ying-jeou’s leadership of the country and the party. In particular, the KMT’s losses in several of its traditional strong-holds – including Taipei to independent Ko Wen-je, and Chiayi county to DPP’s Twu Shing-jer – represent significant, or even unexpected, setbacks.
Already, the semi-presidential system has seen the fallout from the election results: Premier Jiang Yi-huah and 88-members have tendered a mass cabinet resignation to take responsibility, with KMT party members vocalizing the need for a change in the chair. President Ma announced that he would resign as chair at the KMT Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2014.
At a minimum, the election results suggest competitive elections in 2016, as the KMT remakes itself to woo voters while challengers to the KMT surge following the boost of confidence, if not as DPP-members, then as independents,