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]

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