The resounding landslide win of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen has not only successfully swept her into the presidential office, but also promised change as well. However, Ms Tsai and the newly elected legislature must address a solution to the political limbo that awaits them on the other side. A political limbo could occur as this is the first political party transition of the DPP holding both the presidency and legislative majority since the combined presidential-legislative elections began in 2012, resulting in a gridlocked government. This is due to how the new president is sworn into office on May 20, four months after Election Day. In the meantime, President Ma Ying-jeou and the Kuomintang (KMT) would continue to rule, opposed to the newly elected president and legislature. The question is whether or not Mr Ma goes back on his previous promises to support a system where the Cabinet would be determined by the majority party.
Taiwan: Nationalists suffer historic defeat with election of first female president | Los Angeles Times
Taiwan’s voters handed the long-ruling Nationalists a historic defeat on Saturday, kicking the party of Chiang Kai-shek out of the presidential palace and stripping it and its allies of a parliamentary majority for the first time since the island’s modern political period began in 1949. But even as President-elect Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party proclaimed that a “new era” was dawning on the island of 23 million, the biggest question mark hanging over the incoming administration and legislature was how it would deal with the sensitive subject of relations with mainland China. Tsai, a 59-year-old lawyer-turned-politician with advanced degrees from U.S. and British universities, was elected with 56% of the vote, becoming Taiwan’s first female president and trouncing the Nationalist Party’s Eric Chu, who got just 31%.
Voters in Taiwan are expected to make history again when they go to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president and legislature. China’s authoritarian government claims Taiwan as part of its territory, so any time the self-governing island holds an election, the world tends to pay attention. Taiwan held its first direct presidential election only 20 years ago. China’s president, by contrast, is selected by the governing Communist Party, not elected by the public. Tsai Ing-wen, the chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, is widely expected to become Taiwan’s first female president. Her party has traditionally favored formal independence for the island, so Beijing will not be pleased if she wins. Ms. Tsai, however, has pledged to maintain the cross-strait status quo. A victory for Ms. Tsai would be only the second time the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party, has lost the presidency since Chiang Kai-shek’s forces fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Undeterred by the rain, the crowd leaps to its feet shouting “We’re going to win” in Taiwanese as their presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, begins her stump speech. Some rattle piggy banks to show that their party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), relies on, and serves, the little guy—as opposed to the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), backed by businesses and fat cats and one of the world’s richest political institutions. Taiwan’s voters go to the polls on January 16th in what is likely to prove a momentous election both for the domestic politics on the island and for its relations with the Communist government in China that claims sovereignty over it. Eight years of uneasy truce across the Taiwan Strait are coming to an end. Since taking office in 2008, the outgoing president, Ma Ying-jeou, has engineered the deepest rapprochement between Taiwan and China ever seen, signing an unprecedented 23 pacts with the mainland, including a partial free-trade agreement. It culminated in an unprecedented meeting in November between Mr Ma and Xi Jinping, China’s president, in Singapore. But if the rapprochement under Mr Ma was a test of whether closer ties would help China’s long-term goal of peaceful unification, it failed.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.