01/16/2016, 14.51
TAIWAN

Tsai Ing-wen becomes Taiwan’s first female president

Although vote counting is still underway, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) appears to have secured a landslide victory. Her main opponent, Eric Chu, of the Kuomintang, has already conceded defeat and resigned from the leadership of his party. Chen Chien-je, a Catholic, becomes vice president.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tsai Ing-wen has been elected Taiwan's first female president. With most of the votes counted, her party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has a commanding lead in the Legislative Yuan (parliament).

Following his poor performance, KMT (Nationalist Party) presidential candidate Eric Chu announced his resignation. “Sorry everybody,” he said, “Chu Li-luan has disappointed you. We have failed. We have failed the expectations of all voters. We have failed our responsibilities towards Taiwan”.

Tsai Ing-wen also ran in the 2012 presidential elections (when as the first female presidential candidate she lost to Ma Ying-jeou, with 45 per cent of the votes).

Born in Fangshan in 1956, before becoming DPP leader, she was Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council and Vice Premier (officially vice president of the Executive Yuan) under President Ma Ying-jeou’s predecessor, Chen Shui-bien.

With Tsai Ing-wen’s election, Chen Chien-je, a Catholic and a well known figure in Taiwanese society, becomes vice president.

Since President Lee Teng-hui adopted a policy of “Special state-to-state relations,” which she helped draft, Tsai Ing-wen has moderated her views.

Although she has pledged to maintain peaceful and stable relations with mainland China and wants to meet with Chinese government officials, she remains a supporter of Taiwanese independence, and refuses to support the view that Taiwan is part of "one China".

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