Written by Chieh-Ting Yeh. If—and it’s a big if—the KMT could reinvent itself again, it could find a way to shed the old rifts between the ideological and the opportunistic camps. It could present a platform that is clear in its stance on major social issues. It could take the lead in reviewing its own past as a perpetrator of human rights abuses, even if just to get the issue off its back. It could convince Taiwan’s voters that its China policy is no longer motivated by the older generation’s national identity crisis but based on a pragmatic approach to protecting Taiwan’s sovereignty and security. It could be hopeful. But looking at how the KMT finally settles on its presidential candidate, the KMT still has a very long way to go—and not very much time.
Tag: party politics
The KMT Selects Its Presidential Candidate: Can Uniting All Non-Green Friends Make Taiwan Go Blue in 2024?
Written by Jasper Roctus. The results of the KMT’s ambiguous drafting (徵召) procedure of its presidential nominee, which commenced after its leadership took control of the process, should be announced by May 20. The KMT’s selection committee nevertheless already appears reluctant to accept Terry Gou’s eccentric rhetoric and, most prominently, fears electoral outfall over his close China ties. Gou himself also frequently alludes to his extensive bonds with the Chinese mainland by boasting about the leverage he holds in solving the hostile status quo across the Taiwan Strait. Considering that the KMT is still reeling from the landslide defeat of Han Kuo-yu in 2020, its last maverick businessman presidential nominee, the selection of the softer-spoken Mayor Hou as its candidate for 2024 appears to be a foregone conclusion. By early April, the KMT had allegedly already reached an internal consensus on its candidate – a clear reference to being ready to select Hou.
Hou You-yi and Terry Gou in the KMT nomination process: electoral prospects for 2024
Written by Mingke Ma. Unlike the nomination process for the General Election in 2020, the Chinese Nationalist Party (中國國民黨, KMT) decided to forgo a party primary election to nominate its presidential candidate for the upcoming General Election in 2024 to ‘avoid internal strife’. New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) and the founder of Foxconn, Terry Gou（郭台銘）, have publicly declared their interest in endeavouring for the KMT’s presidential nomination. In this piece, I will show that although Hou seems more likely to receive the KMT’s final nomination, Terry Gou remains an important asset for the KMT’s overall electoral prospects.
Internal Divisions, Regardless of the Outcome: The KMT’s Troubled Candidate Decision-Making Process
Written by Brian Hioe. At this stage in the election, the KMT has already announced some of its planned legislative candidates. In addition, the KMT is slated to announce its presidential candidate sometime this month, with a party congress planned in July. But the KMT’s process to decide both the presidential and legislative candidates that the party will field in the 2024 elections has already been controversial. Moreover, the primary outcome threatens to further divide the party at a time when the pan-Blue camp is already plagued by in-fighting. Likewise, the controversies that have already occurred reflect the party’s unresolved internal divisions at a time when the party likely needs unity if it hopes to prevail in the 2024 elections.
Battle for the KMT: For election or ideology?
Written by Adrian Chiu. It was generally thought that political parties are either election-based or ideology-based, depending on the factions dominating the party. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), having lost two presidential elections in a row, are now at crossroads to decide which they are for. As a mainstream party in a two-party system, the KMT is generally assumed to be aimed at winning elections. But as a former authoritarian party, adapting to electoral politics has always been tricky for the party. The increasingly vocal ‘deep blue’ faction within the party also seemed to suggest otherwise. As the general elections draw near, the temperature is rising for the battle for the party.
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.
Sitting on The Fence? The Ambiguous Position of the TPP and Its Potential Causes
Written by Jonathan Leung and Chengyu Yang. For the TPP, there are two issues that have been most widely criticised by the Taiwanese public and politicians. The first is that the TPP’s political stance is too vague and often lacks clear views on cross-strait issues. The second is that the TPP itself relies too heavily on the popularity of former Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, while relatively ignoring the views of other TPP politicians. Some politicians have recently argued that Ko and his TPP are likely to repeat the 2014 PFP and Song’s failure in 2024. Why is the TPP’s cross-strait stance receiving attention in the Taiwanese political arena and is the TPP’s political stance really ambiguous? What are the potential reasons for public and politicians’ perceptions about the ambiguity of the TPP’s position?
The TPP in The Legislative Yuan: Controversies, Challenges and Future
Written by Chengyu Yang. Despite having only five seats in the Legislative Yuan, the TPP legislators have done a relatively impressive job in the 2022 legislative sessions. For example, in the fifth session of the 10th Appointed Date in the first half of 2022, according to public data provided by the Legislative Yuan, TPP legislators introduced 105 bills, most of which were introduced by party caucus, and individual legislators introduced only two cases. Furthermore, in the fifth session, the Citizen’s Congress Watch (CCW, 公民監督國會聯盟), a third-party watchdog in Taiwan, announced that among the 24 outstanding legislators elected to the Legislative Yuan in the tenth session, 19 were from the DPP, four from the TPP and one from the NPP. With such results, what kind of 2023 will the TPP legislators face? How should the TPP handle the relationship between the party’s affairs and legislators? And how will the TPP set the election goal for the Legislative Yuan election in 2024? These are all questions that deserve our attention.
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.
Blue-White Cooperation Will Always Remain A Rumour
Written by Jonathan Leung. The occasions of politicians from the TPP and the KMT appearing in the same scene has increased gradually; their ambiguous relationship has become one of the trendiest topics in the party politics of Taiwan. Ann Kao, the TPP elect Hsinchu Mayor, was publicly endorsed by KMT politicians. Various TPP councillor candidates were also caught campaigning with KMT candidates in the previous election. The rumours of the two parties forming a political alliance have been rising in the past year, especially regarding the campaign of the 2022 local elections. People are concerned about their relationship this year as the national election is coming in January 2024. The voices of the two parties jointly nominating presidential candidates is the most discussed topic now. This article concludes their previous interactions and examines their probable future relation.
Moving on towards “grassroots” 2023: The TPP’s post-election challenges and opportunities
Written by Chengyu Yang. “Break the Blue-Green Fierce Fighting.” The slogan of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) perhaps represents some of the people’s thoughts. Although they might not be their preferred choice, the TPP is undeniably the current most high-profile challenger party. Moreover, as its political position in the previous years is perceived as “vague and ambiguous” by the Taiwanese public, it also attracts the media’s attention. This makes it one of the most worth focusing topics in the coming year of Taiwanese party politics. In this mini-series, to offer a relatively holistic view of TPP’s past and future, we will take a quick look at the topics like TPP’s electoral strategies, its relations with the “pan-green camp” and “pan-blue camp”, its political positions, as well as TPP’s legislative performance.
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.