UPDATES WITH HEADLINE, DECK, ADDS MORE INFORMATION
By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – The Taiwan incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen has won the Saturday's Presidential election and elected for a second four-year term, according to unofficial results.
Tsai received more than 8 million votes, or more than 57%, the highest numbers since direct presidential elections began in 1996, while main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu secured more than 5 million votes, or 38%, Taiwan News, a local daily, reported.
In her victory address, Tsai thanked to her voters for choosing “the path of reform and unity.”
"The election had shown the Taiwanese people’s commitment to democratic values and a demand for respect for its national identity," Tsai said.
“China has tried to force us to accept unacceptable conditions, so we have no choice but to strengthen our defense capabilities,” she added.
Both sides have a responsibility to work toward dialogue and should not deny the fact of the other’s existence,” Tsai said.
In mid-2019, Taiwan sealed an $8 billion defense deal with the U.S., angering Beijing. Moreover, Taiwan also gave refuge to some protesters who fled alleged prosecution for demonstrations against the Beijing-backed Hong Kong administration.
According to local media, the main opposition KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih announced his resignation soon after the unofficial results and accepted responsibility of the party's defeat in the presidential elections.
Earlier on Saturday morning, a total of 17,226 polling stations across Taiwan opened at 8 a.m. local time and closed at 4 p.m and millions of voters cast their vote. Each voter has cast three votes: one for the president, the second for their local legislator, and third for the party.
In the 2016 elections, the DPP picked up 68 seats and defeated the then ruling KMT, which had secured 35 seats of the 113-seat state legislature. Tsai became the country's first female leader.
It was the first time the pro-China KMT, which had controlled the government for eight years, lost control of the island's legislature.
The DPP has traditionally taken a pro-independence stance and has not historically recognized the "one China" policy.