Written by Jonathan Sullivan. Although the main parties have nominated their Presidential candidates, the composition of the field remains fluid and unsettled. On the DPP side, current VP Lai Ching-te long ago locked down the nomination unopposed, and as a continuity candidate enjoying the benefits of incumbency, his campaigning thus far has been relatively smooth. However, Lai’s responsibility for answering any gripes with government policy over the last eight years and the stubborn ceiling to his poll numbers over the last few months suggest substantial challenges to come. But for now, the main uncertainties and drama are on the opposing side of the fence.
Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election candidates: What will Hou or Lai’s election mean for tensions across the Taiwan Strait?
Written by Corey Lee Bell. Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT), recently selected its candidate for the 2024 presidential election. With the main competitors for Taiwan’s top job essentially locked in, each has been interrogated on their policies on cross-strait relations in recent weeks. With tensions high across the Taiwan Strait, and between Beijing and Washington, what each candidate stands for could have profound ramifications for, and perhaps even beyond, the Indo-Pacific region.
Can Democracy be fed (or fed up)? Economic Factors Towards Democratic Development and Political Efficacy in Taiwan Presidential Election (1996-2020)
Written by The Fengze Strategy. Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election is approaching. Although candidates from different major parties have yet to stand out representing their parties, economic development has been considered an essential issue in every campaign. Some political entrepreneurs thought that democratic values could not be sufficient for economic development; in other words, citizens who prefer economic development the most would consider the so-called democratic value to be “a castle in the sand”. In this article, we will examine the presidential elections in Taiwan from 1996 to 2020 through the basic factor of economic development, the gross domestic product (GDP).
Taiwan Cabinet Reshuffle, DPP’s Fundamentalist Shift, and Faction Infighting Ahead of the 2024 Election Cycle
Written by Milo Hsieh. On January 30th, the Tsai administration finalised its cabinet reshuffle. With former vice-President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) taking the helm of Taiwan’s Executive Yuan as premier, Tsai brings back a former ally as the four-year tenure of former Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) concludes after a series of electoral fumbles by the DPP. Moreover, with Taiwan’s 2024 presidential and legislative election less than a year away, the party also shifts back closer to its founding principles with the election of Vice-president William Lai (賴清德) as chair.
Green-White Break-up? Relationship between the TPP and DPP
Written by Jonathan Leung. During the 2022 local elections, the TPP often forcefully criticised the DPP candidates, treating them as the largest political rival. Yet, after Su Tseng-chang’s resignation as premier, there is a sudden suggestion asking Tsai Ing-wen to appoint Ko, the former Taipei City Mayor, to be the new premier. This could pave the way for William Lai, the freshly elected DPP leader and incumbent Vice President, to cooperate with Ko and re-establish the Green-White political alliance to resolve their hostility in the previous year.
Kuomintang Through the Ages
Written by Pradeek Krishna. The Kuomintang Party (KMT), established in 1912, ruled China from 1927 until 1948 before moving to Taiwan. The origins of the Kuomintang could be traced back to the decline of the Qing Empire. However, the party that held the mantle of the Chinese Revolution and ushered China into an era without Imperial rule had been forced to retreat outside of China. In recent years, the KMT failed to win the presidency in the 2016 and 2020 elections in Taiwan, raising questions over its legitimacy and relevance in a younger world.
Reflections on the 2022 Taiwan Local Elections: Demise of Taiwan Identity Politics?
Written by Chia-hung Tsai. From the perspective of identity politics, the 2022 local election results are puzzling. Tsai Ing-wen remains popular, partly because the DPP government successfully contains the Covid-19 pandemic in general while maintaining economic growth. China’s military exercises as revenge for the visit of the US speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, seem to drag down Chinese’ image to a lower level. These achievements and events should boost Taiwanese identity and hence favour the DPP candidates. However, the DPP was not credited for the Covid-19 measures, economic growth, and closer relations with the US. Instead, the DPP was criticized for delayed nomination, mismanagement of quarantine policies, and long-standing income inequality. In other words, identity did not play a big part in this election.
‘Ditching the DPP’, ‘Resisting China and Preserving Taiwan’, and Democracy: Interpreting the Results of Local Elections in 2022
Written by Mei-chuan Wei. The election results led many to conclude that Taiwan voters are more concerned about the ruling DPP’s inability to deliver on its promise to create a more just society and less worried about situations in the Taiwan Straits. However, this is misleading if we consider the results of local councils. The seats of local councillors of DPP have increased, while the KMTs have decreased. How, then to interpret the signals sent by the voters as embodied in the election results from the perspective of democracy in Taiwan?
How did the DPP perform in the local elections?
Written by Jonathan Leung. Less than a week after the 2022 local elections, the mid-terms showed a completely different result than the national election two years ago. With a landslide victory of 8.17 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has only received 4.74 million ballots for the mayoral and magistracy elections. Under Tsai Ing-wen’s leadership, the party has received the highest and lowest votes in history in national and local elections.
Taiwan’s mid-term elections: Most politics is local, the KMT remains a force to be reckoned with, and the DPP needs to regroup
Written by Gerrit van der Wees. The main indicator of how well the parties did, was the number of city mayor and county magistrate positions they gained or lost: the ruling DPP went down from their current number of seven positions to five, while the opposition KMT went down from their current number of 14 to 13, with two of the remaining seats going to independents, and one, Hsinchu City, to the Taiwan People’s Party of Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je. In one location, Chiayi City, the election had to be postponed until December 18 because of the death of a mayoral candidate.
Are the 2022 Election Results Simply 2018 Redux?
Written by Brian Hioe. The results of nine-in-one elections the past weekend prove reminiscent of 2018, in which the KMT surprised with unexpected gains after the crushing defeat it faced in 2016. This was particularly the case given that the KMT captured the traditional DPP stronghold of Kaohsiung as part of the “Han wave” phenomenon.
Taipei Mayoral Race: For the City or for the Party?
Written by Jonathan Leung. Less than three weeks before the 2022 Taiwanese Local Elections, the limelight is on Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Hsinchu City and Miaoli County. Multiple candidates from different parties running in these constituencies are unprecedented and will surely add uncertainties to the polling results. The first pass-the-post system renders the mayoral campaign a competition between the Chinese Nationalists Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Yet, the young established New Power Party (NPP) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) have both nominated candidates to run for mayoral and magistrate posts and city councillors. Rather than being also-rans, they now stand a decent chance to win. This article examines the case of the Taipei City Mayoral Election, evaluating the differences between the two traditionally dominant parties and the newly established ones.