PM resigns after ruling KMT take beating in local elections
The ruling centre-right Kuomintang party (KMT) took a beating in yesterday’s local elections causing Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah resign. Just a few hours later Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-Jiun announced that he too was resigning. The resignation of the Prime Minister means that the entire Cabinet will now resign allowing for a Cabinet reshuffle.
The KMT held 14 of the country’s 22 cities and counties prior to the elections but last night had held on to just one of the six municipality seats and five of the 16 city and county seats. The KMT lost the capital Taipei, which it had held for 16 years, Greater Taichung and Taoyuan to the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which held seven councils before the election and now has 13 cities and counties.
The KMT or Chinese National People’s Party has been following a policy forging of closer ties with China. These elections were seen largely as a referendum on those policies. With the resignation of the economic minister a series of cross-straits trade talks planned for 12th December are now likely to be put on hold.
The official announcement of the Prime Minister’s resignation as published on the Executive Yuan website is as follows:
“Premier Jiang Yi-huah announces resignation
Date: 2014-11-29 Data Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan
This year’s nine-in-one local government elections have come to a close. Today, we saw the highest number of participating candidates ever in Taiwan’s history. Despite certain inevitable irregularities, the voting process ended smoothly overall without any major incidents.
I would like to express my gratitude to all election officials and law enforcement personnel for keeping the process orderly, and to the candidates for conducting sensible, rational campaigns. Most of all, I thank the people of Taiwan for their commitment to the values of democracy and for demonstrating the virtues of democracy. I believe that Taiwan’s democratic system has matured even more this time and will garner wider affirmation from the world community.
It is clear from the results of today’s election that the people of Taiwan are not satisfied with the administration. The voice of the people has been heard through their votes. I have therefore decided to assume political responsibility and resign as premier. I have already tendered my resignation to President Ma Ying-jeou earlier this evening and have received his consent. I believe the president will act quickly to appoint the next premier and reshuffle the Cabinet so that the nation can rise to future challenges.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank President Ma for his trust and confidence in me over the years, and all the people and colleagues for their support and encouragement. I am equally grateful for all the critiques directed toward me and my administrative team, for they have helped drive the nation forward. The administration must look into these criticisms with humility and sincerity. Lastly, I bow to everyone as a gesture of my sincere gratitude. I wish you all much health and happiness. Thank you!”