Polls close in Taiwan's elections: President Tsai ahead of rival

For local TV stations, Han Kuo-yu is behind 19%.  Today more than 19.3 million Taiwanese are called to vote.  The elections will outline the future of the island's relations with Beijing.  Citizens also choose the composition of the island's parliament, the legislative Yuan.


01/11/2020, 12.48TAIWAN Send to a friend

Taipei (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The first exit polls indicate that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen about to get her second term at the helm of the country.  According to analysts, the election result will define the course of relations between Taipei and Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its territory.

President Tsai proposes herself as a bulwark in defense of Taiwan's liberal values ‚Äč‚Äčagainst China's growing interference under the government of Xi Jinping.  Ms. Tsai's rival is Han Kuo-yu, mayor of Kaohsiung.  Considered a populist, the politician has long been in favor of establishing closer ties with mainland China and accuses the current administration of unnecessarily antagonizing Beijing.

Shortly after the official counting began at 16 local time, the EBC broadcaster claimed that Ms. Tsai obtained 3 million votes, or 56.6% of the total, while her rival Han Kuo-yu  38.8%.  SETN assigns 57% to the incumbent president and 38.6% to her challenger.  TVBS says Ms. Tsai got 3.08 million votes against 2.12 million Han.  According to television stations, the third presidential candidate James Soong got less than 5%.

Today more than 19.3 million Taiwanese were called to vote.  The official turnout figures have not yet been made public, but analysts expect an increase from 66.27% four years ago, when Ms. Tsai won with 56.12% of the vote.  Taipei will publish the final results late in the evening.

Today's elections will also determine the composition of the island's parliament, the legislative Yuan: 73 seats will be assigned in the polling stations and 34 belong to the parties;  instead six are reserved for representatives of the Taiwanese indigenous.