William Lai

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Lai.
William Lai
Lai Ching-te

William Lai in November 2010
1st Mayor of Tainan
Assumed office
25 December 2010
Deputy Hsu He-chun[1]
Preceded by Hsu Tain-tsair as Mayor of Tainan (Provincial city)
Personal details
Born (1959-10-06) October 6, 1959 (age 54)
Wanli, Taipei County (now New Taipei City), Taiwan
Political party Democratic Progressive Party
Alma mater Harvard School of Public Health
National Cheng Kung University
National Taiwan University
Profession Medical doctor
Website www.laichingte.net
William Lai
Traditional Chinese 賴清德
Simplified Chinese 赖清德

William Lai, M.D., also known by his romanised name Lai Ching-te[2] is the mayor of Tainan, Taiwan. He took office in the newly created municipality, formed from the merger of Tainan City and Tainan County, on 25 December 2010. He served as a legislator in the Legislative Yuan from 1999 to 2010.

Pre-political life[edit]

Born in Wanli, a rural coastal town in northern Taipei County (now New Taipei City) on October 6, 1959, Lai underwent schooling in Taipei City and studied at both National Cheng Kung University in Tainan and National Taiwan University in Taipei, where he specialized in rehabilitation.[2] Lai then studied at the Harvard School of Public Health for a Masters degree in public health,[2] followed by an internship at National Cheng Kung University Hospital. He became an expert on spinal cord damage and served as a national consultant for such injuries.[2]

National Assembly and Legislative Yuan[edit]

After serving as part of the support team for Chen Ding-nan's unsuccessful electoral bid for Governor of Taiwan Province in 1994,[3] Lai decided to enter politics himself. The next opportunity for election to a national body was the 1996 National Assembly, with Lai winning a seat representing Tainan City. Lai then stood as a candidate in the 1998 Legislative Yuan election, representing the Democratic Progressive Party in the second ward of Tainan City.[2] He was successful in this election, and subsequently was reelected three times in 2001, 2004, and 2008. In total he served 11 years as a legislator, and was selected as Taiwan's "Best Legislator" four times in a row by Taipei-based NGO Citizen Congress Watch.[4]

Mayor of Tainan[edit]

With the 2010 reorganization of the municipalities in Taiwan, Tainan City and Tainan County were amalgamated into a single municipality, called Tainan. After successfully being selected in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primaries in January 2010,[5] Lai stood as the DPP candidate for the mayoral election on 27 November 2010, gaining 60.41% to defeat Kuomintang candidate Kuo Tien-tsai.[6] He took office on 25 December 2010.

Party # Candidate Votes Percentage
Green Taiwan in White Cross.svg Democratic Progressive Party 2 William Lai Ching-te (賴清德) 619,897 60.41% Vote1.png
Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) 1 Kuo Tien-tsai (郭添財) 406,196 39.59%
Total 1,026,093 100.00%

As a result of his strong showing in the mayoral election coupled with his relative youth and his control of the DPP heartland city of Tainan, Lai is considered to be a potential candidate for a presidential run in 2016.[7] In 2013 an opinion poll ranked Lai as the most popular of the 22 city and county heads in Taiwan, with an approval rating of 87%.[8]


  1. ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2014/02/14/2003583484
  2. ^ a b c d e "賴清德" (in Chinese). Legislative Yuan. 
  3. ^ 陳定南的牽手張昭義挺賴清德 (in Chinese), NOWnews 
  4. ^ Lai keeps DPP's solid grip on Tainan, Central News Agency 
  5. ^ "2009民進黨提名縣市長候選人連結" (in Chinese). Democratic Progressive Party. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  6. ^ William Lai takes Tainan by storm, Taipei Times, 28 November 2010 
  7. ^ A look ahead at Taiwan's 2016 presidential hopefuls, The China Post, 2012-01-16 
  8. ^ Tainan City's Lai tops satisfaction poll, Taiwan News, 2013-07-19, retrieved 2013-07-09 
Government offices
Preceded by
Hsu Tain-tsair
Mayor of Tainan