Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party on Saturday, November 26.
She reached her decision after the DPP lost multiple races to the opposition Nationalist, or Kuomintang party, which the Associated Press noted is customary after significant losses.
As the publication quotes, Tsai said, “I must shoulder all the responsibility. Faced with a result like this, there are many areas that we must deeply review.”
According to Reuters, the Kuomintang won the majority vote in 13 of the 21 city mayor and county chief seats. The DPP only achieved five. Tsai said the results failed their expectations but promised to stand up again.
While Tsai emphasized the tensions with China, the Kuomintang party campaigned on local affairs such as city Taichung’s core air pollution, Nangang’s traffic jams, and the island’s COVID vaccination purchase policies, which caused a shortage of the vaccine last year.
The Kuomintang has criticized Tsai and the DPP for confronting China excessively. But as the party won the local votes, Chairman Eric Chu reiterated that they would defend Taiwan’s freedoms.
He said, “We will insist on defending the Republic of China and protecting democracy and freedom. We will also work hard to keep regional peace.”
German media DW says China relations and other important topics are for the next presidential and national elections, which won’t be until 2024. In 2020, Tsai and the DPP triumphed in the election with an overwhelming majority.