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Taiwan president quits as party head

STORY: The elections for mayors, county chiefs and local councillors are ostensibly about domestic issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and crime, and those elected will not have a direct say on China policy.

But Tsai had recast the election as being more than a local vote, saying the world is watching how Taiwan defends its democracy amid military tensions with China, which claims the island as its territory.

The main opposition party the Kuomintang, or KMT, was leading or claimed victory in 13 of the 21 city mayor and county chief seats up for grabs, including the capital Taipei, compared to the DPP's five, broadly in line with expectations and similar to the results of the last local elections in 2018.