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TPP wins Hsinchu mayoral election, Gao Hongan declares victory

TAIPEI, Nov. 26 (CNA) Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) lawmaker Gao Hong-an (Gao Hong-an) declared victory in Saturday night’s Hsinchu mayoral election, marking the first win for the new party at the local government level. showed that.

At 7:24 p.m., Kao declared the winner based on the first vote count. This was to lead the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Hsinchu Deputy Mayor Shen Huihong (Shen Huihong) and Hsinchu City Council Member Lin Jianzheng (林akojin). ) of the National Party (KMT).

Shen conceded defeat around 7:00 p.m.

Voting counts were still in progress. The results of the election are not finalized until officially announced by the Central Election Commission (CEC).

With a population of about 451,000, Hsinchu City has been one of the hottest contested local government elections this year.

The rise of Kao and the TPP, founded just five years ago by outgoing Taipei mayor Ko Wenzheh, has brought unpredictability to Hsinchu’s mayoral elections from the start.

Analysts speculate that the mayoral race could provide an opportunity for Gao, who has publicly announced his intention to run for president in 2024, to test the electoral waters.

At 38, Kao became the youngest mayor in Taiwan’s history, and the election also underscores the importance of Gao’s alliance with Foxconn founder Terry Gou. .

Kao began his political career as Gou’s aide in the 2019 Kuomintang presidential primaries, before joining the TPP’s list of ordinary parliamentary candidates recommended by Gou in the 2020 parliamentary elections. ranked high.

Before entering politics, Kao worked at the government-funded Institute of Information Industry (III) and became head of Hon Hai’s Big Data Office in 2018.

Throughout the campaign, TPP lawmakers touted their information and computer science backgrounds as a competitive advantage over their DPP and KMT rivals.

Kao also emphasized its close ties to Gou, even though the Hon Hai founder never publicly endorsed her.

Saturday’s election results showed that III’s lawsuit against Kao and an ongoing investigation into allegations that she misappropriated public funds as an MP did not undermine support for the TPP candidate.

Sandaime filed a lawsuit against Kao in late October for copyright infringement after it determined that Kao copied 70-80% of his doctoral dissertation without proper attribution of the reports he co-authored during his tenure. .

Later that same month, Kuomintang Lin accused Cao of misappropriating public funds as a legislator, including overestimating the salaries of legislative aides and pocketing surplus money for private use. .

Kao has denied all charges, denouncing it as part of a smear campaign against her, despite an ongoing investigation by prosecutors in Taipei over the matter.

The newly elected mayor has pledged to promote the integration of Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County, a region home to Taiwan’s major high-tech companies, and will use his years of experience to turn Hsinchu City into an “international technology hub.” promised to change it to sector.

Shen, who served as deputy mayor of Hsinchu City from 2016 to 2022, was trying to impress voters with a past record of pushing transportation projects in Taipei and Hsinchu City.

The 55-year-old ran on a vow to improve traffic in the city by building three new bridges connecting Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County and prioritizing the construction of a light rail system. .

But Shen saw her campaign overshadowed by the plagiarism scandal of Democratic Party former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chiken.

Lin Chih-chien, who resigned as mayor of Hsinchu in July, ran for eight years as mayor of Taoyuan before dropping out of the race the following month after National Taiwan University convicted him of plagiarism and stripped him of his master’s degree. .

Shen was also questioned by two rivals and critics over the reopening and rapid closure of the Hsinchu baseball stadium, which spent TWD1.2 billion (US$38.76 million) over three years.

The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) has banned the use of the stadium for just two games amid reports of poor construction work and player injuries.

Meanwhile, Kuomintang’s Lin, a six-term city council member, focused his campaign on garnering support from grassroots voters, to little avail.

Finding the campaign increasingly dominated by two rivals, Lin began attacking Kao, which he claimed had embezzled public funds, using material leaked by a whistleblower in October. rice field.

However, at a press conference on Nov. 8, Hayashi reversed his approach, stating that he would not discuss the Kao case further. He said the decision was made by him and his campaign team together, without external pressure.

Mr. Lin, 61, has found himself relegated to the sidelines in recent weeks. Kuomintang Hsinchu Municipal Council Vice Chairman Yu Bangyu, head of Lin’s supporter club, switched his allegiance to Kao a few days ago. election day.

The KMT later said it would determine whether Yu violated party rules, and Chairman Eric Chu urged supporters to stick with Lin.

(registration)

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https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202211260020 TPP wins Hsinchu mayoral election, Gao Hongan declares victory

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