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HONOLULU — Voters in Taiwan went to the polls in 17 counties and cities recently to elect mayors and magistrates. The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party won 12 of the 17 seats and enjoyed an overwhelming victory in elections of county and city councilors and township chiefs. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won only four of the leadership posts (with the remaining one going to a KMT renegade).

As the dust settled, the DPP was proclaiming its resounding victory — “this was a no-confidence vote in Ma,” proclaimed DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, while declaring that the DPP “has emerged from the bottom” — and Taiwan President and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou was apologizing for the “relatively unsatisfactory results” and promising to do better. Huh?

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