Tsai Ing-wen, the front-running opposition candidate in Taiwan’s presidential election in January, said on Wednesday that trolls from China attacking the republic’s democratic politics on her Facebook page were welcome to a taste of democracy and freedom. As chair of the main opposition pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Tsai, 59, commands a comfortable lead in the polls, and if elected has promised to uphold Taiwanese democratic values while maintaining exchanges with China. “There were a lot of ‘netizens’ from the other side of the Taiwan Strait visiting my Facebook page last night and I welcome them to do so,” Tsai said on her Facebook profile on Wednesday morning.Full Article: Taiwan election: Front-runner Tsai faces off China trolls- Nikkei Asian Review.
Articles about voting issues in Taiwan.
In an emergency congress convened on Friday, Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, or KMT) ousted Hung Hsiu-chu from its presidential ticket and formally endorsed Party Chairman Eric Chu for January’s presidential election. Ms. Hung, vice president of the legislature, suffered from low opinion polls and an ever-widening gap with the opposition candidate Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who was ahead by nearly 30 percentage points in September. Ms. Hung’s strongly China-leaning policy turned off voters and risked undermining the KMT effort to retain control of the legislature, which the party has held for more than a decade. Mr. Chu, a popular centrist figure, should improve the fortunes of the KMT’s legislative candidates. At 54 he is relatively young, with a reputation for clean government and focusing on economic development. He is currently the mayor of New Taipei City, which he was re-elected to last year in a tight race.Full Article: Taiwan’s Election Drama Is a Message to Beijing - WSJ.
Taiwan’s governing party has called a special congress to consider the drastic step of dropping its unpopular presidential candidate just three months before an election that will set the tone for all-important relations with Beijing. In a rare race between two female leading contenders, Hung Hsiu-chu, a straight-talking legislator from the ruling Kuomintang or Nationalist party, has fallen more than 20 percentage points behind the frontrunner, opposition politician Tsai Ing-wen. The KMT, which has ruled Taiwan for much of the period since it fled mainland China after losing the civil war with the Communists in 1949, decided on Wednesday it would hold the extraordinary meeting to “gather consensus and unite for victory”.Full Article: Taiwan’s KMT reconsiders presidential candidate - FT.com.
Taiwan has the kind of democracy that gives you goose bumps. Throughout its history the little island has been squashed and shaped by the closest super-power, China. Beijing continues to claim sovereignty over Taiwan and seems to view it as a renegade sibling that will inevitably be subsumed. If Taiwan should at some point officially declare independence, China has refused to rule out military intervention. Despite that, since 1996 the plucky Taiwanese have been electing their own leaders. Election turnout is consistently around 75 per cent. Here, democracy really matters. This year the Taiwanese are preparing to use their votes to do something extraordinary. No matter who wins, the next president is almost certain to be a woman. The election is a two horse race between the ruling Kuomintang party (KMT) and the opposition Democratic Progression Party (DPP). Both have nominated women candidates.Full Article: Taiwan's power women are teaching China a big fat lesson - Telegraph.
Taiwan is poised to elect its first female leader after the two largest political parties nominated women to contest next January’s presidential election. Hung Hsiu-chu, 67, a former teacher whose fiery style has earned her the nickname “Little Hot Pepper”, was officially selected on Sunday as the candidate for the ruling Nationalist party (KMT). She will compete against Tsai Ing-wen, 58, the candidate nominated by the opposition Democratic Progressive party (DPP) in April. Tsai, currently the party’s chairwoman, is a trained lawyer who studied at Cornell University and the London School of Economics before forging a career in academia and politics back home.Full Article: Taiwan poised to elect female president in historic first | World news | The Guardian.
The legislature’s Constitutional Amendment Committee yesterday reviewed draft proposals calling for a voting age of 18. Outside the Legislative Yuan complex in Taipei, social groups accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of hijacking the voting age amendment draft by tying it to such draft proposals as absentee voting and the legislature’s power to approve the premiership. The committee’s second review yesterday fiercely debated proposals to lower the voting age. Whether the voting age should be lowered to 18 was not the stumbling block, but the procedure for reviewing amendment proposals and whether the committee should first achieve resolutions over the issue blocked progress.Full Article: Voting age reform said to be ‘held hostage’ by KMT - Taipei Times.
It’s official: Tsai Ing-wen, the chair of Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), will be her party’s candidate for next year’s presidential race. Tsai was uncontested for the nomination. She previously served as the DPP candidate in 2012, when she was defeated by incumbent Ma Ying-jeou 51 percent to 45 percent. Tsai’s chances look better this time around, with the DPP riding high on sweeping victories in last November’s local elections. More seriously, the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is facing something of an identity crisis as it tries to rebrand itself. The KMT does not even have a consensus candidate for next year’s election, and might not decide on one until July or August, according to Want China Times. The most likely contender, KMT Chairman and New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu, previously vowed not to run.Full Article: As Taiwan’s Election Season Begins, Beijing Points to Red Lines | The Diplomat.
A group of political and financial figures in Taiwan, headed by former Democratic Progressive Party chair Shih Ming-teh, has initiated an unprecedented campaign to allow negative votes in elections. Voting rights in Taiwan remain incomplete, Shih argued Sunday at a function supporting the campaign after the group’s application for the establishment of a non-governmental organization, named Negative Vote Association, was approved by the Ministry of the Interior. The idea of allowing “no” votes in elections, which he described as “very progressive and original,” was first proposed by several “well-known intellectuals with successful careers,” Shih said in answering questions from reporters. “I was sold, and it is a brilliant idea,” he said. Shih said citizens of the Republic of China are endowed with the powers of election, recall, initiative and referendum, but since the ROC was established in 1911, “the only power that has been truly used is that of election.”Full Article: New NGO in Taiwan urges adoption of negative voting｜Politics｜News｜WantChinaTimes.com.
State media warn Taiwan’s resurgent opposition not to see its local election rout of the governing pro-Beijing Kuomintang (KMT) party as a mandate to push for independence. Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou has announced he is stepping down as KMT party chairman in response to the defeat, which was widely seen on the island as a rejection of his party’s push for closer ties with Beijing. An article in the official party paper, the People’s Daily, warns the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to “discard fantasies” about achieving formal independence. “As China’s might and influence expand internationally, it will have more say in the cross-strait ties,” Taiwan analyst Ni Yongjie tells the paper. “It will be difficult for any political forces in Taiwan to resist the peaceful development of the relationship.” China Daily lays the blame for Mr Ma’s defeat squarely on his domestic policies, denying any link to his pro-Beijing stance. But it acknowledges that with fewer than two years left of Mr Ma’s term in office, the KMT’s loss will add “uncertainty” to ties with Beijing, and could create “major difficulties in producing more ground-breaking achievements”.Full Article: BBC News - China media: Taiwan election 'no rejection of Beijing'.
Taiwan: President Ma expected to quit as KMT chairman as Premier Jiang and 80 in Cabinet resign | South China Morning Post
Premier Dr Jiang Yi-huah led 80 members of his Cabinet to resign en masse this morning following the humiliating defeat of the ruling Kuomintang in Saturday’s local elections. Taiwan’s Vice-President Wu Den-yih then offered his resignation as vice-chairman of the KMT to President Ma Ying-jeou, who is chairman of the KMT. “Vice-chairman Wu Den-yih tendered his resignation to chairman Ma this morning,” Wu’s office said in a text message to journalists. However, it was not immediately known whether Ma had accepted his resignation as the deputy head of the ruling party. Yesterday party officials said that Ma was also expected to resign as chairman of the KMT following the defeat. Jiang had resigned on Saturday in order to assume responsibility for the KMT’s worst electoral setback since coming to power in 1949. A caretaker administration would remain in office until after President Ma appointed a new Cabinet head, Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said.Full Article: President Ma expected to quit as KMT chairman as Premier Jiang and 80 in Cabinet resign | South China Morning Post.
Taiwanese vote this weekend in local elections that are being watched by China for signs the ruling party it prefers to deal with is losing its political grip. In Saturday’s polls for mayors, town councilors, village chiefs and other local positions, political watchers are focusing on the bigger cities, particularly the capital, Taipei, and the central city of Taichung. The cities are usually strongholds for the ruling Nationalist Party, but pollsters put the party, also known as the Kuomintang, or KMT, on shaky ground. A drubbing would position the KMT badly for holding on to the presidency when President Ma Ying-jeou stands down in 2016 and would boost the chances of the opposition, some analysts said.Full Article: China Keeps Wary Eye on Taiwan Vote - WSJ.
It is the most dramatic contest of Taiwan’s biggest ever local elections — a high-flying surgeon takes on the man whose life he helped save after he was shot in the head on the campaign trail. Emergency doctor Ko Wen-je led the team which operated on financier Sean Lien after Lien was attacked at a rally in November 2010. Now they are rivals in the intense battle for the influential post of Taipei mayor, with voters going to the polls Saturday. Independent candidate Ko, 55, has surged ahead of Beijing-friendly Lien, who is son of a vice president and running for the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party. Maverick Ko’s lead in opinion polls reflects disenchantment with the KMT government over fears of increased Chinese influence, a slowing economy and a string of food scandals. Polls show the KMT is likely to take a beating in Saturday’s elections, which will see 20,000 candidates contest a record 11,130 seats and are an important barometer for a presidential vote in 2016. Losing Taipei, a KMT stronghold, would be a major embarrassment for the government.Full Article: High drama in Taiwan vote as doctor takes on gun victim he saved - Yahoo!7.
Taiwan goes to the polls on Saturday to choose city mayors and local councillors in a vote that will show how much support the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) has lost with its pro-China stance less than two years before a presidential election. The election will be the first chance for the island, which giant neighbor China views as a breakaway province, to make its views known since March when thousands of young people occupied parliament in an unprecedented protest against a planned trade pact calling for closer ties with Beijing. A record 11,130 seats are up for grabs in municipalities, counties, townships and villages, with the key battleground the capital, a KMT, or Nationalist Party, stronghold for nearly 20 years. Every Taiwan president was once the mayor of Taipei.Full Article: Taiwan vote tests waters for pro-China government ahead of presidential polls | Reuters.
Taiwan’s young democracy puts down deeper roots with every election cycle, and the island holds an important vote this weekend with 20,000 candidates for more than 10,000 offices. The most watched election is for mayor of Taipei, where candidate Ko Wen-je is causing panic in Taiwan’s ruling party and making Chinese leaders in Beijing nervous. A newcomer to politics, Mr. Ko has become a lighting rod for debates over national identity and traditional values in Taiwan. The independent candidate is receiving prominent media coverage, which he has been using to step outside mainstream politics and challenge the establishment. The quirky medical doctor has stayed comfortably on top of opinion polls while surviving a barrage of accusations and crude smears – such as charges that family loyalty to Japan several generations ago makes him unfit to be mayor — that have questioned his character and career as one of the island’s leading surgeons.Full Article: Taiwan election: Wild, wooly, and partly a referendum on China - CSMonitor.com.
A guy running for head of a borough in Taipei gave me a sack of napkins even though I’m a foreigner without voting rights. Had I attended his rally in the park that day, I could have scored a free minced pork bun. Another candidate in the neighborhood gave away wooden back scratchers. These people are frugal. In the southern city Tainan, a candidate was passing out women’s cosmetic kits. News reports cite banquets, discounted air tickets and cash handouts. The potential booty is boundless with 19,762 people running for borough heads, city councils, mayoral posts and their county-level equivalents in most of Taiwan. It’s expected to grow next week in the final approach to elections Nov. 29. Vote-buying has long fit as snugly into Taiwan’s colorful, volatile politics as campaign banners and rallies. The China-friendly Nationalists and their opponents, who are less keen on tie-ups with old foe Beijing, need whatever they can get to win the island’s notoriously close elections.Full Article: Smartphones Vs. Politicians In Taiwan Vote Buying Game: See Who's Ahead.
Mass protests against Chinese rule in Hong Kong are shaping election campaigns in Taiwan. Taiwan is self-ruled, but many citizens fear China will govern it someday as it pushes for unification. That has pressured Taiwan’s ruling party and the more anti-China opposition party to make strong statements in favor of Hong Kong’s protesters. As far as relations with China (PRC) are concerned, Taiwan’s local elections in November are pivotal. Wins for the ruling Nationalist Party would help it keep the presidency in 2016 and would signal four more years of engagement with China, which claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island and wants to take it back eventually. Conversely, victories next month and in 2016 for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party could chill ties with China.Full Article: Hong Kong Protests Shaping Taiwan Election Campaign.
There was another winner in the election this weekend that handed President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan a second term in office — the faint but unmistakable clamor for democracy in China. Thanks in large part to an uncharacteristically hands-off approach by Chinese Internet censors, the campaign between Mr. Ma and his main challenger was avidly followed by millions of mainland Chinese, who consumed online tidbits of election news and biting commentary that they then spit out far and wide through social media outlets.Full Article: Taiwan Vote Stirs Chinese Hopes for Democracy - NYTimes.com.
Taiwan’s democratic elections, widely watched in China, will spur the Chinese people to demand reforms and Chinese authorities will be “shocked” into changing their current practices, a mainland Chinese scholar said Saturday. Wang Weinan, a research fellow at Shanghai Academy of SocialScience, said mainland Chinese people are “envious” of Taiwan people’s right to choose their national leaders andparliamentarians. Given the increasing exchanges between the people across the Taiwan Strait and the multiple channels through which the Chinese people can obtain information about Taiwan, more and more Chinese are viewing Taiwan in a favorable light, Wang said.Full Article: Taiwan elections will 'shock' China into changing: scholar - CNA ENGLISH NEWS.
President Ma Ying-jeou was elected to a second four-year term as Taiwan’s president, giving him a renewed mandate to press for closer ties with China that have eased decades-old tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Ma, the 61-year-old leader of the ruling Kuomintang Party, defeated challenger Tsai Ing-wen, the Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman, by 51.6 percent to 45.6 percent, with all the votes tallied, the Central Election Commission reported on its website. The commission said 74.4 percent of Taiwan’s 18 million eligible voters cast ballots.Full Article: Ma Wins Second Term in Taiwan Election - Bloomberg.
Taiwan’s elections were “mostly free but partly unfair,” according to a preliminary report released on Sunday by a group of international observers. Saturday’s election saw incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou defeat opposition candidate Tsai Ing-wen by six percentage points. In the report compiled by the International Committee for Free Elections in Taiwan, the observers cited several factors that could have helped Ma gain more votes than the opposition.Full Article: Taiwan polls ‘partly unfair’ say observers - World News | IOL News | IOL.co.za.