Beijing-friendly Han Kuo-yu elected as Taiwan’s legislative speaker

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Kaohsiung’s populist former mayor, Han Kuo-yu, has been elected as Taiwan’s legislative speaker.

Kuomintang election rally in Taipei on January 10, 2020. Photo: Han Kuo-yu/Facebook/

The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) nominee won 54 votes, whilst the incumbent speaker, You Si-kun of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) received 51 votes on Thursday.

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A political outsider, Han became mayor of Kaohsiung in November 2018, before defeating powerful insiders to run as the KMT’s presidential candidate. But his unsuccessful bid, and promises to make citizens “filthy rich,” failed, leading voters to recall him as mayor in June 2020.

Last month, William Lai secured a historic third-term for the DPP in the leadership election, vowing to continue the foreign and domestic policies put forward by his predecessor, Tsai Ing-wen. Ties with mainland China soured under Tsai, who favored securing the island’s position on the global stage and maintaining relations with the US.

The Republic of China (ROC) government has ruled Taiwan since 1945 after Japan was defeated in World War II, ending 50 years of occupation. The ROC authorities fully retreated to the island in 1949 as the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) defeated them in the Civil War and took control of the mainland. Beijing has since claimed Taiwan is one of its provinces and has threatened to unify it by force if necessary, despite never ruling the island.

More to follow – refresh to update.

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