Tsai told reporters that she would take "complete responsibility" for the defeat as she resigned as chair of the party. Taiwan's Investigation Bureau also said it is probing Chinese influence on the elections through campaign funding of candidates. With the conservative vote passing the threshold of 25 percent of eligible electors, under referendum law the government must take steps to reflect the result. Gay rights activists had proposed that the Civil Code should give same-sex couples equal marriage rights, but only garnered three million votes. But others said she may still run, in the absence of an obvious successor. The KMT, which oversaw an unprecedented thaw with Beijing before Tsai took office indeclared victory in 15 of 22 city and county seats, up from just six going into the election. The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
As well as voting for seats from village to city level, there were 10 referendums on the ballot, including pro- and anti-gay marriage proposals.
Taiwan's same-sex marriage vote divides families
To see accompanying package, click on reut. With the conservative vote passing the threshold of 25 percent of eligible electors, under referendum law the government must take steps to reflect the result. Observers put the results down to anger over pension cuts and labour reforms, including slashing the number of public holidays, as well as concern that tensions with Beijing are damaging local business. The heated debate over whether to legalize same-sex marriage presents a challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen, who rights activists say has backed away from her promise of marriage equality in the run-up to elections in Beijing has denied the allegations.
Jennifer Lu, a spokeswoman for Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, said they were saddened by what she described as the "absurd referendums" and blamed government "incompetence" for allowing the anti-gay marriage votes to go ahead. Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party DPP have faced a mounting backlash over domestic reforms as well as concerns about deteriorating ties with China, which still sees self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified. Located in an alley at the heart of Taipei with rainbow flags leading up to the staircases, the owner of a decades-old bathhouse for men said his business is now often packed and receives many customers from overseas. Ma Xiaoguang added that China would continue "to resolutely oppose separatist elements advocating 'Taiwan independence' and their activities". Tsai told reporters that she would take "complete responsibility" for the defeat as she resigned as chair of the party. The issue has divided Taiwan, at family dining room tables, online and on the streets, with large-scale rallies. Ahead of the vote, Tsai and DPP officials repeatedly accused China of meddling in the lead-up to the elections by operating a "fake news" campaign.