Taiwan’s 2020 Election Is Not Just a Fight Between Presidential Candidates

Taiwan's 2020 election isn't just about the presidents — it's about the the local elections too.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/10/31
By: By Lev Nachman, UC Irvine

If Taiwan’s election were tomorrow, Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would likely win. Recent polls show she is ahead of Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu by over 12 percent. But it is far too early to assume the race is over — there is still over two months before the election, a lifetime in Taiwanese politics.

Although the majority of international press coverage has focused on Tsai and Han, there is another part of this election that is just as important: the fight for Taiwan’s legislature. This fight for Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (LY) is just as contentious as the presidential race, if not more so. Even if the DPP wins the presidency, it will be stalled for four years if it loses the LY to the KMT.

Taiwan uses a mixed system of first-past-the-post presidential and district candidate elections and proportional representation (PR) party votes. Citizens vote for their president, district representative and the party they wish to support. Since the presidential and district candidate elections are first-past-the-post, there are usually only two candidates running against each other.

The PR vote allows citizens to express their support for a party regardless of who is running in their local district or who is the president. If a party receives the 5-percent threshold, it qualifies for PR seats in parliament. The LY has 113 seats: 73 district election seats, 6 seats reserved for indigenous Taiwanese, and 34 seats reserved for PR.    [FULL  STORY]

With Terry Gou out of Taiwan’s presidential race, chance for KMT to regain power improves, analysts say

  • Incumbent Tsai Ing-wen is facing opposition from a former vice-president, increasing the likelihood of a split vote by proponents of independence
  • Kuomintang candidate Han Kuo-yu is seen as benefiting from both moves

South China Morning Post
Date: 18 Sep, 2019
By: Lawrence Chung  and Kristin Huang  

Foxconn founder Terry Gou’s decision to pull out of Taiwan’s presidential campaign creates a better chance for the mainland-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) to return to power next year, analysts said, as his withdrawal helps forge unity within the opposition party.

That opportunity grew stronger on Tuesday when former vice-president Annette Lu Hsiu-lien announced her bid to run for the island’s top post against incumbent Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and the KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu, observers said.

“Gou has faced strong pressure of [being accused of] creating a split vote within the KMT as he has strong support from those who opt for a better economy and the young voters,” said Wang Kung-yi, a professor of political science at Chinese Culture University in Taipei.

Voting will take place in January.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s KMT lashes out at Foxconn tycoon for jumping ship

Taiwan's KMT ch6astises Foxconn tycoon for leaving the party

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/09/12
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Cheng Mei-hua.
Cheng Mei-hua. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After Foxconn tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘) announced he was leaving the Kuomintang (KMT) party today (Sept. 12), the party expressed its "deep regret" and said that it will deal with the violation of party discipline rules by its former member (Gou).

This morning, the tech tycoon's aide Tsai Chin-yu (蔡沁瑜) announced that he had decided to quit the KMT effective immediately. "The KMT puts party interests ahead of national interests, which goes completely against Mr. Gou’s original intention to return to the party," Tsai quoted Gou as saying.

Gou’s announcement came after a front-page advertisement was released in newspapers today calling for collaboration between Gou and the KMT presidential nominee Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). The advertisement, which was placed by the KMT, included 31 signatures of senior party members, including former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former Vice Presidents Lien Chan (連戰) and Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), the party chairman.

In response, the KMT said that terms used in Gou's statement, such as "pedantic" and "centuries-old Standing Committee" need to be discussed and are not in accordance with the facts. It also countered that the idiom "living in the Cao camp, but having one's heart in the Han camp" (人在曹營心在漢) used to describe the 31 party members who signed the statement was flawed.

Terry Gou quits ‘reactionary’ KMT

CULTURE CRITICIZED: If Chiang Ching-kuo could see the way that ‘the KMT has turned its back on the public and lost its ideals he would be heartbroken,’ Gou said

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 13, 2019
By: Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday resigned from the

Yonglin Foundation deputy chief executive Evelyn Tsai holds Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou’s Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) honorary certificate, party membership card and letter announcing his resignation from the party in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District yesterday.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), expressing his disappointment at its culture of reactionary politics and backroom horse-trading.

Gou said in a statement that quitting the party was not an easy decision.

While he feels sad about leaving the party, “reason tells me I am doing the right thing, something that will significantly change the fate of the Republic of China [ROC],” he said. “If former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) could see the way the KMT has turned its back on the public and forgotten its ideals he would be heartbroken.”

The KMT should not exist just to oppose the Democratic Progressive Party, or to promote its members’ personal interests or to trade favors, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

Foxconn’s Terry Gou ‘preparing’ to run for Taiwan presidency

Tech tycoon says he will decide soon and touts 'mutual trust' with Beijing

Nikkei Asian Review
Date: September 07, 2019
By: Lauly Li, Nikkei staff writer

TAIPEI — Foxconn founder Terry Gou on Saturday said that he is preparing to run for Taiwan's

Foxconn founder Terry Gou, who lost the KMT nomination, is weighing an independent presidential bid.   © Reuters

presidency, and that he will soon make a final decision on whether to enter the race.

"I am preparing. I am still [doing some] final thinking about it," Gou told Japanese media in Taipei. "I must be well-prepared and have the confidence to win before making a decision."

It was the first time Gou had spoken to the media about his presidential ambitions since he lost the primary for the opposition Kuomintang, or KMT, in July. Prospective candidates have until Sept. 17 to register; voters will go to the polls in January 2020.

The tech billionaire has not met KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih or Han Kuo-yu — the Kaohsiung mayor who defeated him for the party's nomination — since mid-July. However, he has held talks with the KMT's estranged former Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je on possible collaboration.    [FULL  STORY]

Han Kuo-yu planning visit to U.S. in autumn

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/08/18

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) 2020 presidential candidate, said Sunday he is aiming to travel to the United States in autumn, after an American official said he was welcome to visit.

"Some friends have been arranging the trip for me, and I hope I can visit the U.S. September to October," Han told reporters after a meeting with the KMT committee in Hsinchu.

During such a visit, Han said, he would like to discuss Taiwan- U.S. and cross-Taiwan Strait relations, meet with Taiwanese expatriates in various U.S. cities, and talk with entrepreneurs about hi-tech products.

Han's remarks came after William Brent Christensen, director of the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said in an interview with the China Times that Han would be welcome to visit the U.S. by the end of the year.    [FULL  STORY]

Premier Su urges HK government to respond to public demands

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 13 August, 2019
By: Paula Chao

Premier Su Tseng-chang is urging the Hong Kong government to respond to their people’s demands for

Premier Su Tseng-chang

freedom and democracy. Su was speaking on Tuesday.

Hong Kong has seen mass protests for ten straight weeks over a controversial extradition bill. On Monday, the Hong Kong airport was shut down due to protests. In recent weeks, clashes between police and pro-democracy demonstrators have become increasingly violent, with one young woman badly injured in the eye on Sunday.

Su said the situation in Hong Kong is a lesson for Taiwan.

“We see what Hong Kong has become under the ‘one country, two systems’ formula. Therefore, Taiwan must safeguard its hard-won freedom and democracy. This is very, very important. We must stand unified. On the one hand, [we] show Hong Kong needed concern. On the other hand, [we] must protect Taiwan’s sovereignty, freedom and democracy, so that Taiwan won’t be like Hong Kong," said Su.     [FULL  STORY]

Video shows pro-China lawmaker Junius Ho call activist ‘scum,’ storm off set

.Pro-China lawmaker Junius Ho urges ban on protests, calls lawmaker 'scum' before storming off HK TV show

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/07/23
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Chu (left), Ho (right). (Screenshot from RTHK)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Firebrand pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho stormed off the set of a Hong Kong TV show today after demanding a ban on the ongoing Hong Kong protests and calling his fellow lawmaker "scum."

During a talk show on Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) at 11 a.m. this morning, Ho got into a heated debate with Hong Kong social activist and lawmaker Eddie Chu, just a day after videos surfaced of him cozying up with men in white T-shirts suspected of beating innocent civilians at an MTR station in Hong Kong on Sunday. During the debate, Ho called on a temporary ban on the protests and tried force Chu to tell activists to stop demonstrating against the extradition bill, before eventually angrily storming off the set.

At one point in the debate, much of which consisted of the two shouting over each other, Ho said that violence is not allowed, and therefore Chu should tell the viewers to stop the anti-extradition protests. Ho then grabbed Chu by the shoulder, shook him, and tried to make him face the camera to call on Hong Kong activists to end their demonstrations.

Chu refused to follow Ho's orders, and countered that Ho should tell the men in white T-shirts to stop their violent acts. Junius replied by saying he did not care what color shirts the people were wearing and again tried to force Chu to call for an end to the protests.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s KMT to pick presidential candidate by July 16

The party will not organize debates and exclude smartphone users from opinion polls

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/05/15
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Kuomintang (KMT) announced Wednesday (May 15) it will

KMT spokesman Ouyang Long. (By Central News Agency)

use opinion polls without smartphones to select its presidential candidate by July 16 at the latest.

The contenders will not have to engage in televised debates with each other, but will be able to offer their views to the public separately, the Central News Agency reported.

Despite demands by some candidates, the party’s Central Standing Committee decided Wednesday that the nominee for the January 11, 2020 presidential election would be selected by opinion polls only, with no separate vote by party members.

Five polling organizations will be asked to conduct the surveys for at least 3,000 valid responses each, but they will only use landlines to reach respondents, and not smartphones. The issue has recently divided the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) pushing for the inclusion of cellphones, while ex-Premier William Lai (賴清德) has opposed changing the rules while the race is already underway.    [FULL  STORY]

KMT to pick presidential candidate by means of nationwide poll

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/05/15
By: Yu Hsiang, Liu Kuan-ting, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping and Emerson 

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) decided Wednesday to change

Two of KMT’s possible presidential candidates, Chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Terry Gou (right) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu. CNA file photo

the format of its presidential primary for the 2020 election to a single nationwide opinion poll and to name its candidate by late July.

The KMT Central Standing Committee approved the rules, guidelines and timetable for the nomination process for the 15th presidential election at meeting earlier in the day.

Under the newly adopted rules, the party has dispensed with the part of its primary that comprised a vote only by its registered members.

Instead it will pick its 2020 presidential candidate based solely on the results of a public opinion poll that will be commissioned to five different polling institutions, each with a sample size of not less than 3,000, the KMT said.    [FULL  STORY]