Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.981205223132.27604A-100000@uhunix4>
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 23:20:45 -1000
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
From: Vincent K Pollard <pollard@HAWAII.EDU>
Subject: Taiwan election results

Taiwan election results

By Vincent K Pollard, 5 December 1998

In unofficial returns, MA Yin-jeou, the Guomindang (GMD [or Nationalist Party]) candidate, defeated incumbent CHEN Shui-Bian, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Mayor of Taibei by five percentage points to win.

Born in Hong Kong, Attorney MA grew up in Taiwan. Supporters of the ex-GMD New Party abandoned their own candidate, joining forces with the GMD against the DPP.

Running against the trend Saturday, DPP challenger Frank HSIEH narrowly defeated incumbent GMD Mayor WU Den-yih of Gaohsiung, an industrial and seaport city in southern Taiwan.

Also on Saturday, the GMD won more than half the 225 seats in the Legislative Yuan. The New Party, reportedly, did very poorly in the elections for the national legislature. is the URL for the story in Sunday’s New York Times on which the foregoing summary is based.

The momentary realignment of New Party supporters with the GMD realignment is further evidence that instability will characterize the GMD with factions splitting off and rejoinging, whether or not it stays in power.

The New York Times article did not report results of a Yes-or-No independence referendum held Saturday in Tainan in west-central Taiwan.

Interestingly, the GMD selectively has been incorporating elements of the DPP program. For example, after losing more seats than expected in the Legislative Yuan elections of December 1992, the GMD borrowed from the DPP campaign platform, initiating a diplomatic and media campaign in May 1993 to seek support for reentry into the United Nations.

(In the previous sentence, the verb borrowed is mine. However, it is accurate. That anecdote was cited three years ago by a high ranking ROC diplomat in response to my request for an example of how opposition parties influence policy in Taiwan.)

Also, while unwilling to declare independence, the GMD’s own delaying tactics towards the PRC’s calls for reunification have elicited irritated denunciations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing.

Trapped in the awkward position of endorsing a formula imperfectly reflecting power relations, an American academic advisor to US policy makers wrote in a sindicated newspaper column earlier in 1998 that, while US political leaders know that Taiwan is independent, they just hope it doesn’t declare its independence.

If anyone SEASIA-L subscriber knows, how were Saturday’s events in Taiwan reported in South East Asian newspapers (in English, Chinese or any other language)?