One third of nine-in-one election staff had no election experience

A report from the CEC says election work was a first for a third of polling station attendants

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/12/02
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Reporter

A photograph at one election booth (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Reports say one third of polling station staff during the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24 were new.

According to CNA, the Central Election Committee submitted a report to the Legislative Yuan that stated a third of all attendees at polling stations had never worked an election before.

The public were heavily dissatisfied with how the election was handled. Many reported waiting in line for hours to vote, as well as misconduct in stations and surrounding areas.

Some were told they would be able to vote in the local elections but not the referendums, as the relevant papers were no longer available. People also complained that the CEC posted results too early, before many had even had the opportunity to vote.    [FULL  STORY]

Push to use name ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Chinese Taipei’ at Tokyo Olympics falters

Number of voters stays just under the required 25 %, while opponents outnumber supporters

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/11/24
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Voters lining up Saturday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A referendum in favor of using the name ‘Taiwan’ instead of the current ‘Chinese Taipei’ to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics looks to be faltering Saturday, not only because more voters opposed the proposal, but also because it looked like not enough voters had cast ballots.

The result of a referendum is only valid if 25 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballot, and if more are in favor of it than oppose it.

However, by 11:30 p.m. Saturday, only 24.3 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballot on the issue, according to provisional figures from the Central Election Commission.

Even if the total eventually exceeded 25 percent, the question still received more negative answers than positive ones. A total of 4,122,738 voters agreed that Taiwan should drop the name ‘Chinese Taipei’ and just use ‘Taiwan’ at international sports events, and specifically at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.    [FULL  STORY]

Japan regrets Taiwanese vote to maintain food import ban

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/25
By: Elaine Hou and Elizabeth Hsu

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Japan expressed regret that Taiwan’s public voted on Saturday to back a referendum to maintain the ban on imports of agricultural products and food from areas in Japan affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster on March 11, 2011.

Officials at the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, the organization that represents the interests of Japan in Taiwan, voiced their regret when asked by CNA about the result of Saturday’s referendum.

The referendum asked voters if they agree the government should maintain the ban on imports of agricultural products and food from areas in Japan affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster on March 11, 2011, including Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures.

Taiwanese voters supported the measure by a 78-22 percent margin among the nearly 10 million valid votes cast.    [FULL  STORY]

2018 ELECTIONS: KMT retains hold on New Taipei City

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 25, 2018 
By Chen Yu-fu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

People yesterday wait in line to vote at a polling station in Taipei.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Taiwanese voted in 10 referendums alongside yesterday’s nine-in-one local elections — the greatest number of referendums held simultaneously since the plebiscite mechanism was implemented in 2004.

The referendums covered a broad range of issues, including the definition of marriage in the Civil Code, the ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures imposed after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011 and changing the national team’s name from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

A total of 19,757,067 people were eligible to vote on yesterday’s referendums, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said.

Amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) in December last year lowered the threshold needed to pass a referendum.    [FULL  STORY]

ANALYSIS: The China Fake News Election Threat

Taiwan and the freedom of its elections is under threat from a barrage of fake news from China.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/24
By I-fan Lin

Since 2016, when Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)

Credit: Taiwan Presidential Office

was elected as Taiwan’s President after the pro-independent Sunflower Movement, waves of disinformation have engulfed traditional and social media platforms in Taiwan — and many can be traced back to China.

Taiwan has been ruled independently for decades, and Tsai decided to reject the “One China, different interpretation,” otherwise known as “the 1992 Consensus,” an agreement signed in 1992 between the former ruling Kuomingtang and Beijing that helped improve the strained relationship between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China.

Since Tsai’s decision, that relationship has taken a turn for the worse. Beijing has suspended diplomaticcontact with Taiwan, imposed economic sanctions, forced other countries to cut ties with Taiwan and has bolstered its military presence in the Taiwan strait.

In parallel, a series of campaigns of fake news have captured Taiwanese media, with experts tracing several of these stories back to China.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan to see first-ever openly lesbian council members

Miao Poya (苗博雅) and Lin Ying-Meng (林穎孟) declare victory in Taipei City council race

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/11/25
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Though people of Taiwan voted to keep the Civil Code

(Image courtesy of Miao Poya FB page)

unchanged in a Nov. 24 referendum, Taiwan is set to welcome its first-ever openly lesbian council members, and one of them declared her homosexuality years ago.

Miao Poya (苗博雅), 31, who ran in the council race representing the minor Social Democratic Party in Taipei City, declared her victory late Saturday night.

In a live stream speech on her Facebook fan page, Miao said her election will turn a new page in Taiwan’s politics, and it is just the beginning, as more challenges are awaiting her.

Miao has been advocating for a number of issues including abolition of the death penalty, judicial reform, gender equality, transitional justice, and labor rights.

Elections ‘a lesson from democracy’ for DPP: president

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/25
By: Shih Hsiu-chuan

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) major defeat in

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, center)

local government elections on Saturday was a lesson the party has learned from democracy, and the party accepted the defeat humbly, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Saturday.

“Facing all sorts of challenges at home and from abroad, insisting on doing the right thing was like walking on a path thickly sown with thorns that was bound to leave us with wounds,” Tsai said. “But I would like to say to all DPP comrades and supporters, we have to stick to doing what is right.”

“No matter how many scars we may carry and how harsh it may be, the nation needs to move ahead,” Tsai said in brief remarks at the DPP’s headquarters Saturday night in which she also resigned as the party’s chairperson. “It’s our duty to safeguard the nation’s future.”

Tsai apologized to the party’s supporters for the party’s disappointing performance.

2018 ELECTIONS: Tainan winner downplays victory

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 25, 2018 
By: Jake Chung  /  Staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tainan mayoral candidate Huang Wei-che (黃偉

Tainan residents vote yesterday at the Zun Wang Gong temple, the nation’s smallest polling station.  Photo: Liu Wan-chun, Taipei Times

哲) yesterday declared victory at 7:45pm, and his main rival, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) rival Kao Su-po (高思博) conceded at 8:40pm.

The other candidates in the race ran as independents: Chen Yung-he (陳永和), Lin Yi-feng (林義豐), Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) and Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智).

Huang had turned down an offer by supporters to set off fireworks to celebrate, as he was “shocked at how close the race was.”

Huang thanked the people who had voted for him and said the close win was due primarily to a slackening in his efforts.    [FULL  STORY]

5 Questions for After Taiwan’s Election

As Taiwan’s election results begin to come in, these are the key questions that must be answered in their wake.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/24
By Kharis Templeman
Credit: CC by Studio Incendo/ Flickr

Credit: CC by Studio Incendo/ Flickr

Taiwan voters are at the polls to elect over 11,000 local officials for nine different kinds of offices, from the mayor of Taipei all the way down to village and ward chiefs. Much is at stake. In addition to deciding who will run all of Taiwan’s local governments for the next four years, these elections also serve as a kind of midterm evaluation for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which won unprecedented victories in 2014 and 2016 but is fighting an uphill battle this time around. The severity of the DPP’s losses will be read as a barometer of President Tsai Ing-wen’s chances of reelection in 2020 and could determine whether she will remain as DPP chairwoman.

The results will also indicate whether the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) is on the road toward recovery or is instead in terminal decline, and they will be a moment of truth for smaller parties seeking to expand their support and demonstrate staying power in Taiwanese politics – none more so than the youth-oriented New Power Party (NPP), which is running council candidates across the island for the first time. They also offer voters an unprecedented chance to use the power of referendums to decide public policy questions.

So, as the election returns roll in on election night, here are five key questions to keep in mind.    [FULL  STORY]

2018 ELECTIONS: Lai offers to resign as DPP routed

END OF AN ERA: President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after early results, which showed the KMT winning in Kaohsiung after two decades of DPP rule

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 25, 2018
By: Stacy Hsu, Sean Lin and Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporters

Premier William Lai (賴清德) offered his resignation and President Tsai Ing-wen

President Tsai Ing-wen, center, steps down from the podium after announcing her resignation as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson as DPP Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu, left, and DPP Electoral Strategy Committee co-convener Chen Ming-wen look on at a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday.  Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

stepped down as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson after the party suffered a bruising defeat in yesterday’s nine-in-one local elections, as the results showed the nation’s political map shifting toward the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Later last night, Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) also announced her resignation.

While official tallies from the Central Election Commission (CEC) were not available as of press time last night, some of the candidates had unilaterally declared victory or conceded defeat.

Among them were Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) of the DPP, who acknowledged losing to KMT Taichung mayoral candidate Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), and KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who defeated his DPP rival, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), and ended the DPP’s 20-year governance of southern Taiwan’s largest city.    [FULL  STORY]