Singapore congratulates Taiwan’s William Lai on election victory

On Saturday, Dr Lai won 40.05 per cent of the vote, comfortably ahead of the Kuomintang’s (KMT) Mr Hou Yu-ih with 33.49 per cent and the Taiwan People’s Party’s (TPP) Dr Ko Wen-je with 26.46 per cent, according to the Central Election Commission.

The DPP lost its legislative majority, securing 51 seats out of the 113 available. The KMT took the most seats, with 52, and the TPP won eight seats. Two seats were taken by independent candidates.

Dr Lai, the former mayor of Tainan, is a noted proponent of Taiwan’s independence. His rivals and critics have said his election would endanger Taiwan and threaten peace with China.

In his victory speech, he extended an olive branch to the opposition and to China.

He said: “Under the principles of dignity and parity, we will use exchanges to replace obstructionism, dialogue to replace confrontation, and confidently pursue exchanges and cooperation with China.

“This furthers the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and achieves our objective of peace and common prosperity.”

Shortly after Dr Lai’s win, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said his victory would not change the basic landscape of cross-strait relations.

Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said the results showed the DPP cannot represent mainstream public opinion on the island, according to a statement carried by Xinhua state news agency.

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