The New President in Taiwan: M. MA

The KMT sweep back into power after eight years in opposition with an overwhelming victory in yesterday’s fourth direct election for president.

Voting, which took place between 8am and 4pm, was peaceful, with no reports of clashes at the 14,401 polling stations across the nation. And no report of any problem the following day (today), not like in the past…

A total of 13,221,609 people voted in the election, a turnout of 76.33 percent (quite a high figure) of the 17,321,622 registered voters. There were 117,646 invalid votes.

The KMT ticket won 7,658,724 votes, or 58.45 percent of the ballots, with the DPP pair garnering 5,445,239 votes, or 41.55 percent.

The CEC announced the official results at 9.30pm.

Ma will formally take over on May 20, when President Chen Shui-bian steps down upon completing his second term in office.

In more direct language, the electorate rejected the DPP’s campaign and reverted to the approximate 60-40 pan-blue/pan-green split of the 2000 election.

That is, the 10 percent of voters that the DPP stole from the KMT in 2004 have returned to the fold.

After a trying eight-year experience with a divided government, Taiwanese have chosen a unified government led by the KMT.

Let’s see what will happen and let’s hope for the best.

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