KMT’s Han Kuo-yu declares win in Kaohsiung mayoral race


Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) declared victory in a heated mayoral election in Kaohsiung Saturday, moving the southern Taiwan seat into the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) camp for the first time in nearly two decades.

Han, 61, defeated his main rival, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which had held Kaohsiung since 1998.

A former president of Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp. (TAPMC), Han entered the mayoral race this year on a platform of addressing the air pollution situation in Kaohsiung and reviving the economy of the southern port city.

Over the past few months, Han has been surprisingly successful at whipping up voter enthusiasm that not only placed Kaohsiung — a traditional DPP stronghold — in the national spotlight but also raised the profile of other KMT candidates in this year’s local elections.

A KMT lawmaker from 1993-2002, Han became president of the state-funded TAPMC in 2012 and resigned March 31 last year to run for the KMT chairmanship. He lost that election May 20, 2017, to Wu Den-yih (吳敦義). The Kaohsiung mayoral election was also contested by two independents, Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳) and Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴).

The outcome of the election will not be confirmed until officially announced by the Central Election Commission.