113議席のうち野党である国民党(Kuomintang Party)が81議席を獲得し、与党である民進党(Democratic Progressive Party)は27議席にとどまった。この国民党の大勝利は、台湾独立派の陳水扁(Chen Shui-bian)総統の政権維持を難しくし、3月22日の総統選で与党である民進党の政権維持を揺るがしている。
Landslide victory for Nationalists in Taiwan
By David Lague
Published: January 14, 2008
TAIPEI: A landslide victory for the opposition Kuomintang Party in parliamentary elections in Taiwan has delivered a blow to the governing Democratic Progressive Party's prospects of retaining power in the March 22 presidential election.
The Kuomintang, or Nationalists, had been widely expected to perform strongly, but the scale of its success Saturday surprised political analysts and could sharply reduce the political influence of Chen Shui-bian, the pro-independence Taiwan president, in the remaining months of his second and final term.
A resurgent Kuomintang, which now holds almost three quarters of the seats in the self-ruling island's Legislative Yuan, also holds out the prospect of reduced tension across the Taiwan Strait, analysts said.
The Kuomintang once waged a fierce civil war against the Communists on the mainland but now advocates maintaining the status quo between the two sides without ruling out eventual reunification. In the meantime, it supports closer economic and cultural ties with its neighbor.
The Democrats' presidential candidate, Frank Hsieh, is now under pressure to regain the initiative in the race against Ma Ying-jeou, his popular and charismatic Kuomintang rival.
Hsieh has already signaled that he would be less confrontational than Chen, who has antagonized China and alienated the United States, Taiwan's most important military and political ally, with efforts to forge a national identity for Taiwan.
"They need to adjust their strategy," Yen Chen-shen, an expert in international relations at National Chengchi University, in Taipei, said of the Democrats. "They need to find something to get their voters excited and willing to come out and vote."
But analysts said it was probably too late for Hsieh to back down on Chen's plan to hold a referendum alongside the presidential election asking voters to support a bid to join the United Nations under the name of Taiwan rather than its formal name, the Republic of China.
Instead, Hsieh is likely to play down that issue, they suggested.
The proposed referendum has angered Beijing and drawn unusually blunt criticism from the United States. The U.S. secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, last month described the referendum as a "provocative" move that would needlessly raise tension across the Taiwan Strait without providing any benefit for people in Taiwan.
At the close of counting Saturday, the official Central Election Commission said the Kuomintang had won 81 seats in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan. The Democrats won 27, it said, with the balance going to minor parties and independents.
The Kuomintang won 53.5 percent of the vote, compared with 38.2 percent for the Democrats. But if past voting patterns were any guide, it was unlikely that the Democrats would suffer a defeat on this scale in a presidential poll, political experts said. Chen won office with 50.1 percent of the vote in 2004.
Some analysts interpreted the election outcome Saturday as a clear repudiation of Chen's policies aimed at shifting Taiwan toward independence from China.
Others said voters were also disillusioned with Chen's economic management and the parliamentary gridlock that has prevailed throughout his presidency, during which the Democrats have been unable to get much of their legislation, including important defense budget allocations, through the opposition-dominated Legislative Yuan.
Corruption scandals linked to his relatives have also hurt the party's image, they said.
Political analysts in Taiwan said China had avoided attempts to influence the parliamentary election with overt threats or intimidation as saber rattling before earlier elections appeared to have increased support for the Democrats.
They predicted Beijing would continue this hands-off policy throughout the presidential campaign.
"Before the presidential election, China will keep quiet," said Keng Shu, a political scientist at National Chengchi University. "This time China has been rewarded for keeping its mouth shut."
China has yet to publicly react to the election outcome. But the ruling Communist Party has clearly signaled that it favors a return to power for the Kuomintang, which ruled the island for more than five decades until Chen's presidential victory in 2000.
Beijing has invited senior officials from its former archrival to visit the mainland in recent years and has privately assured visiting Taiwanese scholars and business leaders that ties would improve if the Democrats were defeated.
Chen immediately resigned as chairman of his party Saturday to take responsibility for the loss. "It is the worst defeat since the founding" of the Democratic Party, a somber Chen told reporters. "I feel very sorry and ashamed."
Ma cautiously welcomed the result, warning that the March race would still pose a difficult challenge for his party. "We must use this victory as a stepping stone to winning the presidential election," he said. Ma, a Harvard-trained lawyer, says Taiwan needs a strong military and close ties with the United States to counter the military threat from China.
Despite separate governments, Taiwan is considered part of China, and Beijing, which is continuing a military buildup opposite Taiwan, has refused to rule out the use of force if Taiwan declares formal independence or indefinitely delays steps towards reunification.
Ma argues that avoiding confrontation with Beijing while expanding economic links, including direct air and shipping links, between the two sides will reduce tension over time.
Almost 60 percent of the 17 million eligible voters turned out for the election, the first under a new system in which the number of seats in the chamber was halved in an effort to streamline lawmaking and improve the quality of debate.
As predicted, minor parties were almost wiped out under the new system, which was deliberately designed to favor the development of a stable, two-party system.
Voters elected 73 candidates to represent single-member electorates; 6 were elected by indigenous people; and 34 were assigned to parties based on their share of the vote.