Taiwanese Nationalists Win Big

Party seeks reunification, while independence-seeking president reels from results
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2008 12:25 PM CST
Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian delivers a speech at the Democratic Progressive Party headquarters, Saturday, Jan. 12, in Taipei, Taiwan. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party had won only 12 of the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Taiwan’s China-friendly opposition party dominated parliamentary elections today, the BBC reports, dealing a blow to the hard-line president 2 months before his own poll. The KMT, which supports closer ties with Beijing, trounced the ruling DPP, winning 72% of the seats in the 113-seat chamber. President Chen Shui-bian, resigning as the DPP’s chief, said he was “shamed” by the outcome.

Many accuse Chen of corruption and blame him for the island’s weak economy, the AP says. Since an inconclusive civil war 60 years ago, the DPP has sought independence but remained chastened by China’s threats of retaliation. During elections, Beijing kept mum to prevent alienating KMT backers but has been seeking American support against a Taiwanese referendum for UN membership.