Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior lifted restrictions on registering same-sex marriage between Taiwanese and foreign nationals on 9 January, with the exception of mainland Chinese citizens. While Taiwan was the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage, it had not previously allowed registration if one partner was a citizen of a jurisdiction where same-sex marriage was illegal.
President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) following DPP losses in the local election held on 29 November. DPP secured only five out of 22 municipalities, whereas the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) emerged victorious in winning 13 seats. The voter turnout rate was relatively low for Taiwanese local elections, at approximately 60 per cent. Voters also rejected lowering the voting age from 20 to 18, in a referendum that ran alongside the elections.
Taiwanese law enforcement agencies arrested over 250 suspected gang members on 21 October to deter organized crime-led violence explicitly linked to vote-buying ahead of the 26 November local elections. Over 50 illegal firearms were confiscated, with at least 45 major criminal figures identified among the suspects. The arrests mark the fourth major joint campaign by law enforcement to crack down on organized crime over the past several years, with many of those arrested strongly linked to pro-China political and economic positions.
Ahead of local elections scheduled for 26 November, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-Wen called for "domestic political unity" in combatting Chinese disinformation efforts aimed at polarizing Taiwanese society. The last local election in 2018 saw Chinese state-aligned actors spreading pro-unification rhetoric that sought to weaken public trust in the government and promote pro-China candidates. Taiwan's government is actively working with civil society organizations and social media companies to counter false narratives with fact-checking tools without repressing the freedom of speech. Examples include improving media literacy and civic learning; tinkering with algorithms and working with social media platforms to identify and keep misinformation off the top of people's social media feeds instead of directly censoring specific narratives.