BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008, 15:08 GMT
Taiwan's opposition in huge win
Supporters of Nationalist Party in Taipei county, 11 Jan 2008
All parties campaigned up to the last minute
Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party has won a landslide victory in parliamentary polls, official results show.

The KMT, which wants closer ties with China, secured 72% of the seats in the 113-seat chamber, beating President Chen Shui-bian's party, the DPP.

The independence-leaning president said he was "shamed", resigning as chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party.

The elections are seen as a barometer for the presidential poll on 22 March.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province that should be reunified.

Referendums

With all the votes counted, the KMT secured 81 seats, Taiwan's election commission announced.

TAIWAN'S POLL RESULTS
KMT - 81 seat
DPP - 27 seats
other parties - 5 seats

The DPP got 27 seats (24%), while smaller parties won five seats.

Under a new electoral system, the number of seats in Taiwan's new parliament has been cut from 225 to 113.

The change was adopted in 2005 to reduce corruption and improve efficiency but observers say the new system may marginalise smaller parties in favour of the DPP and the KMT.

Former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou campaigns for the KMT (6 January 2007)
KMT presidential hopeful Ma Ying-jeou has called for change

A new voting system was also introduced whereby voters cast ballots for both a party and a particular candidate in their constituency.

Seventy-three seats were contested by a total of 296 individual candidates representing 12 parties, while 34 seats were to be allocated on a party list system. A further six seats were reserved for ethnic minorities.

Two referendums were held alongside the legislative election.

The first asked voters to support legislation to force the KMT to return state assets the DPP says were illegally amassed during the 1950s, while the other, tabled by the KMT, called for action against corrupt officials.

Beijing quiet

BBC China analyst Shirong Chen says the two main parties concentrated on local issues and shied away from discussing China in the run-up to the vote, a tactic the Chinese government has also adopted.

Map of Taiwan

Beijing has learned from its past misadventures during Taiwanese polls that verbal warnings and missile tests would backfire in favour of candidates from the pro-independence DPP, our correspondent says.

China has been focusing on getting countries like the US and France to oppose Taiwan's referendum on joining the UN, which will be held alongside the presidential election in March.

China has also been persuading Taiwan's diplomatic allies to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing, prompting the Taiwanese foreign minister to make a futile trip to Malawi to consolidate bilateral ties.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Reaction from Taiwan on the election outcome



SEE ALSO
Battle lines drawn in Taiwan vote
11 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Taiwan recycles Chiang landmark
01 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Taiwan acquits opposition leader
28 Dec 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Taiwan UN bid 'provocative' - US
21 Dec 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Taiwan
17 Oct 07 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific