Taiwan’s president elected to second term


Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou was elected Saturday to a second term, defeating his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) challenger Tsai Ing-wen with 51.6 percent of the vote.

“Congratulations, everyone! We have won,” Ma told his supporters, who had waited in the rain for nearly an hour.

“This is not Ma Ying-jeou’s personal victory, but one for the Taiwanese people. It’s also a victory for our direction toward a clean government, prosperity and peace.”

Ma said the victory is a clear message from the Taiwanese people to continue moving in the current direction.

“I want to thank everyone for your support that has given me the opportunity to achieve the changes Taiwan needs in another four years. I will never let you down,” he pledged. With only only a handful out of 14,806 polling stations left to report, Ma had an edge of nearly 800,000 votes, or about 6 percent, over Tsai, according to the Central Election Commission. Tsai conceded defeat at an international press conference soon after Ma spoke to his supporters.

“We admit defeat in the presidential election and accept the decision of the people of Taiwan,” the 55-year-old said.

“I would like to express my apology to all the party’s supporters for failing to meet their expectations,” she added.

She also congratulated Ma for winning the election in her concession speech and said she hoped he would listen to the people’s voices over the next four years.

Before Ma gave his victory speech, KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan touted Ma’s achievements over the past three years, saying that Taiwan should continue looking outward under Ma’s leadership.

He said Taiwan’s external relations have made great progress since 2008 and that advancements made in cross-Taiwan Strait cooperation in recent years is “of great significance for the people on the both sides of the strait.”

He said the DPP should not feel overly frustrated, adding that he suggested as a friend that the opposition party should look into the reasons for its defeat.

Lien also thanked the people of Taiwan for deciding the nation’s direction for the next four years.