TAIPEI–Former Vice Premier Eric Liluan Chu, who had never lost an election in his political career, kept his record perfect Saturday when he was elected mayor of Xinbei City, defeating Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen in a tight race.
In his victory speech, he thanked supporters for their firm backing and promised to make Xinbei City the top city in Taiwan with the help of the city’s residents over the next four years.
The Chu-Tsai contest was only one of two of Saturday’s five mayoral races to be decided by a single digit margin. Published polls conducted prior to the election had the two candidates within the margin of error.
“I hope to build a new era for the KMT and walk a different path of my own that is citizen-centric,” he told the Chinese-language China Times in a recent interview.
Tsai, who had been a vice premier 2006-2007, became the first losing candidate in a local election to gain over 1 million votes, considered by observers to be a strong performance for a candidate who had never run in an election before.
She said the defeat had not shaken her outlook on the issues.
“The faith and values I believe in have not changed because of the result of the election, “ she said. “Although we did not succeed in our electoral bid, I felt deeply honored over the past six months.
“My personal failure does not mean a breakdown of Taiwan’s democracy, and I know you have regained your confidence and have walked out from under the shadows of two years ago,” she said, referring to the DPP’s decisive defeats in the 2008 legislative and presidential elections.