Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen has assumed all “responsibility” and stepped down as the head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) following a series of election defeats to the opposition candidates, who focused their campaign on local issues and maintaining peace without being overly confrontational with Beijing.
On Saturday, the residents of Taiwan went to the polls to pick mayors in nine cities, as well as city council members and other local leaders all across the island. In a major defeat to the ruling party, the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) won key mayoral races in the capital city of Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, in addition to a string of other victories, leaving the DPP in control of only five out of the 21 local government offices, according to preliminary results.
“The results failed our expectations. We humbly accept the results and accept the Taiwanese people’s decision,” Tsai told reporters at party headquarters on Saturday evening, announcing her resignation as the DPP head, which she also did after a similarly poor showing in 2018.
Beijing welcomed the results as proof that the people of Taiwan overwhelmingly support peace, stability and “a good life,” with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office promising to continue its work to promote peaceful relations and to oppose foreign interference and calls for Taiwan independence.