Taiwan Church News
Jan 15 ~ 21, 2023
Lai and Hsiao Win Presidential Election to Lead Taiwan and Forge Consensus
Reported by Lin Yi-ying
The results of the 16th Taiwan presidential and congressional election were unveiled on January 13, 2024. Both Mr Lai Ching-te and Ms Hsiao Bi-khim of Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) were elected with 5,586,019 votes, about 40.05% of total votes; among the 113 seats of the Legislator election, Kuomintang (KMT) had 52 seats, DDP had 51 seats, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) had 8 seats and independent-elect had 2 seats.
In response to the election results, Rev Peng Chi-hong, moderator of the 68th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) , expressed that he was pleased that candidates with indigenous-Taiwan consciousness were elected as president and vice president. As to the “hung-party” situation in the Legislative Yuan (Congress), “neither any of three parties is able to dominate the congress”, it reminds DDP should act more humbly to negotiate with other political parties.
Rev Peng said that, whatsoever, the presidential election results showcased that Taiwan’s subjectivity had been seen established and affirmed worldwide. And, he indicated, how to build Taiwan as a normal country in future and forge democratic alliances with more countries globally is something that Mr Lai Ching-te shall actively endeavor after taking office.
In addition, he stressed, how to convince legislators from various parties in the Legislative Yuan willing to put aside their party’s interests and cooperate under the consensus of “Taiwan’s interests as first and foremost” is an urgent task in which the ruling DDP should work harder to campaign.
Rev Peng expressed that the PCT Confession’s statement, “[the Church] is ,,, rooted in this land”, means the church absolutely committed itself to serve and love Taiwan. In the meantime, he felt positive and confident that the DDP can keep and manage well on Taiwan’s sovereignty and subjectivity.
However, he reminded DPP must do a good job by integrating sub-factions within the party in order to gain more trust from the people. As Ms Hsiao Bi-khim is the daughter of the late pastor, Rev Hsiao Tsing-fen, Rev Peng also hoped that she can assist Mr Lai Ching-te in a very complicated leadership and governance to serve Taiwan. He blessed she can adhere to the biblical teachings and stand firm for God in her honorable job as vice president.
Rev Peng said that Taiwan is a pluralistic society, evidenced from the votes for Mr Ko Wen-je and Mrs Cynthia Wu of TPP received 26.46% of the votes, and especially most of them were young voters. He urged that those in power should listen more to the voices of young people.
As for the very hopeful candidates of Mr Hou Yu-ih and Mr Zhao Shao-kang of KMT, they received only 33.49% of total votes. It seemed KMT was very reluctant to accept the defeat. This is because some KMT leaders preferred an election like France’s two-round voting system to reach an absolute-majority for the election of the president and vice president.
Rev Peng believed that any voting system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and KMT’s trumpet a French presidential method via absolute majority as a model is not only unfeasible, but also an unworthy and laughable excuse to cover up KMT’s internal divisions and its devastating failure to merge TPP’s Ko Wen-je on a scandalous six-agreement-statement in Taiwan’s political history on Nov 15, 2023.
Translated by Peter Wolfe