Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te elected as chairperson of ruling DPP

Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te has been elected as the new head of the governing Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP. He is widely seen as the party's potential candidate in next year's presidential election.

Lai became DPP chairperson-elect after an uncontested vote by party members on Sunday.

The poll came after President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as DPP chairperson to take responsibility for the party's major setback in local elections in November.

After working as premier, Lai assumed the post of vice president in May 2020 when Tsai entered her second term as president.

Lai issued a statement after the election, pledging that the DPP would do all it can for Taiwan.

He also promised to protect Taiwan and advance its democracy, peace and prosperity in what he calls complex and fast changing international circumstances.

The turnout for the election was only 17.59 percent.

Lai is facing the pressing challenge of restoring support for his party as recent opinion polls show the DPP trailing the opposition Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party.