Last Saturday, the ruling party of Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party suffered a landslide defeat in the local elections. Of the 21 county and city chief positions contested, the opposition Kuomintang won 13, while DPP only five.To give some background understanding of DDP, its traditional wins were confined to the southern parts of Taiwan.
The poor showing of DPP on last Saturday can be traced back to its poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, controversial handling of COVID vaccine, tainted candidates and alleged cronyism, constant scandals have led to the weakening of its credibility.
To make things worse, its pre-election campaign’s slogan has a confrontational stance towards the mainland. This is also causing fears and dismay amongst the voters especially after the Ukraine war as voters are more concerned about better livelihoods and peace.The election results have once again proved that most Taiwanese are not courted with the idea of cross-Straits confrontation.
President Tsai had stepped up her efforts to lean on the United States for support in her confrontational approach toward the mainland, after the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine. With the DPP repeatedly buying weapons from the US, the action not only strains cross-Straits tensions but also caused anxiety among Taiwanese residents about a potential and unnecessary military conflict.
The election results reflect Taiwan residents’ growing dissatisfaction with the administration of Tsai Ing-wen. She is set to be a lame-duck leader for the rest of her term, which will be her last as she cannot stand for leadership in the next election having completed two terms.