Saturday, 29 November 2014

Taiwan premier Jiang Yi-huah quits after poll loss

KMT members bow in defeat in Taipei, 29 November KMT members bowed in defeat in Taipei 
The Prime Minister of Taiwan, Jiang Yi-huah, has resigned after his ruling pro-China party suffered stiff defeats in local elections.

The Kuomintang party (KMT) appears to have lost control of districts across the country, including the mayor's office in the capital, Taipei.

Saturday's polls were widely seen as a referendum on relations with China.
KMT supporters had argued for good relations with China, which views Taiwan as a renegade province.
China and Taiwan, a close US ally, have been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949.
Dependence fears
Mr Jiang told reporters he was stepping down in order to take responsibility for the defeat.
More than 18 million eligible voters were registered to vote, choosing from among 20,000 candidates who were running for more than 11,000 positions.

Some voters fear that if the KMT is allowed to continue building strong ties with China, Taiwan may become too economically dependent on the mainland and vulnerable to its pressures to reunify one day, the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei reports. 

They distrust the KMT, regardless of whether the deals signed with Beijing are good for Taiwan, our correspondent says. 

KMT supporters, on the other hand, feel that Taiwan needs good relations with its biggest trade partner to breathe new life into the island's ailing economy. 

They feared a victory by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) could cause relations with China and Taiwan's economy to regress, our correspondent says. 

The DPP supports Taiwan's formal independence from China, something Beijing strongly opposes.
In 2016, Taiwan will hold the more important presidential and legislative polls.

Taiwan began allowing truly democratic elections - with opposition party candidates and universal suffrage - in the late 1980s.
KMT members bowed in defeat in Taipei

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