New legislative landscape taking shape

The China Post news staff

The Legislative Yuan is to see a new landscape following the Jan. 14 legislative election, as the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) will no longer maintain a vast majority and its negotiations with opposition parities will become even more important than ever, according to political observers.

There will be four legislative caucuses in the new lawmaking body, with two major ones set up by the KMT and main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and two minor ones by Taiwan Solidarity Union and the People First Party.

Of a total of 113 legislative seats, the KMT garnered 64, a decline of 17 seats from the previous legislative election in early 2008. Nevertheless, the ruling party is still a majority in the legislature.

The DPP managed to win 13 more legislative seats in the latest election, bringing its total number of lawmakers to 40, which, however, is still far from the threshold of 57 seats needed to give it a majority in the Legislature. Meanwhile, the Taiwan Solidarity Union garnered three lawmaker-at-large seats and the People First Party won two such seats plus an indigenous-lawmaker seat, making them qualified to set up their own legislative caucuses.

Observers said that the four legislative caucuses will experience a running-in period before they can function smoothly, and negotiations among the caucuses will become common practices. Worth mentioning is that although DPP Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen lost the election, her strong whirlwind blown in the whole campaign process made quite a few senior KMT lawmakers in central and southern Taiwan fail to win another four-year term. For instance, KMT Lawmaker Lin Yi-shih, who has been elected in Kaohsiung for four terms in a row, was defeated by his DPP candidate Chiu Chih-wei although the latter legged far behind him in terms of popularity.