KMT narrowly wins Taichung election

TAIPEI - Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Yen Kuan-hen narrowly beat out his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rival yesterday to hold on to a traditionally pan-blue legislative seat.

Taichung District Two voted yesterday to replace former lawmaker Yen Chin-piao, who was stripped of his seat last November over corruption.

Yen's son, Yen Kuan-hen, picked up the seat yesterday by a razor-thin margin of 0.86 percentage points - or 1,138 votes, according to the Taichung Election Commission.

The younger Yen earned 49.95 per cent of ballots, while DPP nominee Chen Shih-kai won 49.09 per cent, results showed on Saturday.

Meanwhile, independent candidate Yu Szu-chia of the All People's Party received 0.96 per cent of the vote.

Yen Kuan-hen's mandate appears lesser compared to his father's in the 2012 legislative election. In 2012, the senior Yen bested his rival 59.79 to 40.20 per cent.

Even in Wujih, Wufeng and Dali - his weaker districts - the senior Yen pulled out 55 per cent of the vote, over his opponent's 45 per cent.

The younger Yen lost Wurih and Dali on Saturday, managing just 44 per cent.

Yen Kuan-hen secured victory on the strength of Shalu and Longjing districts, where he took 55.32 and 52.92 per cent, respectively.

But even in the strongholds, vote share had slipped from the senior Yen's 60-plus per cent in 2012.

The Taichung Election Commission reported a turnout rate of 48.89 per cent in the district, which has a total of 275,086 registered voters.

Ballot counting showed Yen and Chen in a cliffhanger race, each overtaking the other multiple times after polls closed at 4 p.m.

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