Taipei: A few weeks after the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won an unprecedented third term in office, Taiwan’s legislature elected Han Kuo-yu, a politician from the China-friendly opposition Kuomintang (KMT) as its new speaker on Thursday, Voice of America reported.
According to the report, the victory could lead to legislative gridlock and potentially create an opening for Beijing to influence domestic politics.
“We are in for a very slow and lackluster set of time in which we are not going to see any sort of policy being able to be passed with this kind of stonewall approach to politics,” Lev Nachman, a political scientist at National Chengchi University in Taiwan said.
The election of a new Speaker comes nearly three weeks after the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, won an unprecedented third term in office, winning the presidential election but losing its majority in the legislature. Thursday was the first day of Taiwan’s new legislature, and Han received 54 votes, while the DPP’s candidate, You Si-kun, received 51 votes.
The Voice of America said in its report that the legislature’s third political party, Taiwan People’s Party, or TPP, was initially seen as a potential partner in helping either party to secure the speakership. But after voting for their own candidate in the first round of the speaker election, the eight legislators from the TPP abstained from voting in the second round.
Following the vote, Han said since all Taiwanese expect the legislature to be united and to prioritize people’s benefits, he hopes all three political parties can explore the possibility of working together on important social and economic issues.
“The general public expects a new and reformed Legislative Yuan that is solid and practical in creating happiness for the common people, and this is the responsibility on my shoulders,” he told reporters outside the legislature following the election. (ANI)