The twists and turns of the Ma election victory have so far proved to be more entertaining than the campaign itself. After Ma accused the Wang camp of vote-buying and other electoral shenanigans, Wang today coldly refused Ma’s offer of a vice-chairmanship.

Some of Wang’s supporters have taken issue with what they said was Ma’s lack of respect for Wang and have accused the Taipei mayor of showing arrogance.

However, while Ma admitted that the election campaign may have strayed from the goal of a “gentlemen’s competition” and might have hurt the KMT, he maintained that he was sorry it turned out that way.

“I have apologized for that almost six times,” Ma said.

“Almost six times” — what does an “almost” apology look like? Kevin Kline practicing saying sorry in a Fish Called Wanda? “I’m sssshhhhhsssooorrrrffffuuuuuucccckkkkk!”

Speaking of shenanigans, there some reports in the local media that Ma got thousands of votes from mail-in KMT voters overseas. It would interesting to see some statistics on that. Perhaps it was Ma, whose reformist tendencies have never been more than a veneer, whose side engaged in some questionable tactics.

More important is that with the party leadership and Ma at odds, the DPP has stepped up the pressure by calling for a new campaign against money politics. If Ma cannot find a way to reconcile with the Party leadership, it is easy to see a situation where the KMT insiders avenge their humiliation by cutting Ma’s feet out from under him during the Presidential election, while he looks like a failed reformer to the public on the outside. Ma is in for a rocky ride, whatever happens.

UPDATE: The post election period has been so rancorous that Lien Chan and Soong left for the US, not wanting to be in country during the mess. Soong is currently running for PFP Chairman, an election that is about as much a contest as his mentor’s Chiang Kai-shek were.

UPDATE: The China Post, the pro_KMT english newspaper, blogs indignantly on Ma’s victory here.