The Fluidity of the Presidential Field

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.

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.

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.

Local elections 2022: The squeezed space for Taiwan’s alternative parties

Written by Dafydd Fell. The general picture in 2022 is one of the challenger parties being further squeezed out of the party system. After the two main parties, the third largest party in the 2022 elections was the TPP, winning Hsinchu City mayor and 14 council seats. However, its impact should not be exaggerated. Despite its greater financial resources compared to other small parties, only 14 out of the TPP’s 86 candidates were elected. Given these results, the party may struggle to be competitive in the next round of national elections in 2024.

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.

Power Dynamic Reshuffles in the Green and Blue Camp Following Tsai’s Re-election

Written by Milo Hsieh. In January, Taiwan saw the re-election of its DPP President Tsai Ing-wen. The January election, which saw the DPP once more taking a firm majority in the Legislative Yuan, was a victory for the DPP that also gave rise to smaller parties. The KMT, taking lessons from its defeat, went on to reposition its policy on cross-strait issues with the election of a new party chairman.

Despite Tsai’s Victory, Nationalism and Populism are Still Strong in Taiwan

Written by Milo Hsieh. This year’s election season is marked by the two camps of nationalists. On one end, though those in support of formally creating a Taiwanese state were at odds with Tsai in the beginning of the year, they eventually formed a united front after Tsai’s victory in the DPP primary. On the other end, supporters of the KMT and presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu showed more support than ever for the ROC flag.

Time for a Genuine Third Party, Not Another Green or Blue

Written by Gunter Schubert. Taiwan’s upcoming national elections invoke the spectre of a new minority government: a parliament dominated by a ‘pan-blue’ majority set against a ‘green’ president. Taiwan has seen this before. During his eight years in office, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Chen Shui-bian faced a Legislative Yuan dominated by the Kuomintang (KMT) and People’s First Party (PFP), and so was effectively blocked from pushing through any meaningful policy. Given the polarisation of Taiwanese politics, a legislature and presidency split between the KMT and the DPP means political paralysis.

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