ANALYSIS: The Broken Promise of Tsai Ying-wen

The DPP’s record on following through with promises of political reform is less than stellar.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/05/29
By: Kharis Templeman

Photo Credit: CC by Office of the President, Republic of China (Taiwan)

Before the 2016 election brought them to power, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pledged to pursue political reforms that would address fundamental, long-standing weaknesses in Taiwan’s democratic system.

Three of these became particularly apparent during the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) era: an unbalanced executive-legislative relationship that concentrated extraordinary power in the president’s hands, a disproportional electoral system that worked to the Kuomintang’s (KMT) advantage, and a deep, popular distrust of many of Taiwan’s “accountability institutions” – especially judges and prosecutors, the constitutional court, and the Control Yuan.

Two years on, these weaknesses are still apparent. The ruling DPP’s record on political reform has so far been disappointing: despite some positive changes, it is mostly a series of unfulfilled pledges, missed opportunities, and unintended consequences.


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