Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic People’s Party is the next president of Taiwan as the two other candidates conceded defeat.
According to a live report by the British Broadcasting Corporation, Lai is set to be Taiwan’s next president after his major contender, Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang Party, conceded defeat.
According to the report, Ko Wen-je of Taiwan’s People’s Party, who was on the ballot, has also now conceded to the ruling party, DPP.
Taiwanese are choosing between the ruling DPP, determined to maintain the country’s political independence and democracy, and opposition parties (KMT and TPP) seeking more engagement with Beijing.
In his victory speech, Lai expressed his gratitude to the Taiwanese for resisting external forces, culminating in the elections’ success.
“Through our actions, the Taiwanese people have successfully resisted efforts from external forces to influence our elections. We trust that only the people of Taiwan have the right to choose their own president,” Lai said.
The fact that the DPP received the largest vote share shows that Taiwan will continue to “walk on the right path forward”, he added.
Similarly, the sitting vice president described the victory so far as a win for lovers of democracy, putting Taiwan on the map of nations that allow democracy to thrive.
“I want to thank the Taiwanese for writing a new chapter in our democracy. We have shown the world how much we cherish our democracy. This is our unwavering commitment,” he said.
Taiwan is a democratic island that governs itself, but mainland China claims it and has no international recognition as a country.
For the past eight years, the DPP’s now outgoing president Tsai Ing Wen had moved Taiwan away from Beijing’s orbit closer to the United States, increasing Beijing’s anger.
Lai is likely to continue with the Party’s strong self-governing stance and China has already issued staunch warnings against any moves for independence.