by Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Results of the January 16 presidential and legislative elections could be expected to be complete by 10 p.m. Saturday, the Central Election Commission said Friday.
An estimated 18 million people have the right to cast ballots in the election for a president and vice president, and for 113 members of the Legislative Yuan. Each voter will have three ballots, one for the presidential ticket, one for the local legislator, and one for a list of candidates drawn up by a political party.
The Legislature counts 73 members elected in single-seat districts, six members elected by indigenous people, and 34 at-large members from the party lists.
Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and the expectation that the results will be known by 10 p.m. was more or the less the same as on the previous occasion, in 2012, the CEC said.
Commission officials were not prepared to make predictions about the voter turnout, but in 2012, 74.38 percent of voters cast their ballots, while in 2008, the turnout amounted to 76.33 percent.
The new president and vice president are not expected to take office until May 20. Interest in the election has been high, with 18 political parties and groups presenting candidates for the at-large party lists, where a party needs at least 5 percent of the nationwide vote to win one of the seats. More than 500 candidates in total are running for legislative seats.
The race for president and vice president is less complicated, with just three pairs of candidates: Eric Liluan Chu and Jennifer Wang for the ruling Kuomintang, Tsai Ing-wen and Chen Chien-jen for the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, and James Soong with Hsu Hsin-ying representing the People First Party.