The Taiwan Election’s Other Big Winner: Ko Wen-je’s Taiwan People’s Party

The upstart TPP secured five legislative seats, a major win for a party formed only five months ago by a mayor with presidential ambitions.

The Diplomat
Date: January 16, 2020
By: Nick Aspinwall   

Credit: Facebook/ Ko Wen-je

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen notched a landslide victory over challenger Han Kuo-yu in the country’s elections on Saturday. But she wasn’t the night’s only big winner.

The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), created last August by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, gained five legislative seats after winning almost 1.6 million votes (11.2 percent) in Taiwan’s party list contest.

Months after Ko opted not to run for president after long hinting at an independent bid, his party is now Taiwan’s third largest, eclipsing the youth-oriented New Power Party (NPP) and other better-established parties like James Soong’s People’s First Party (PFP).

Ko has cast his TPP as an alternative to Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Han’s Kuomintang (KMT), along with smaller Pan-Green (DPP-affiliated) and Pan-Blue (KMT-affiliated) parties. To drive the idea home, the party’s color is a pale hue somewhere between turquoise and aqua – officially, it’s “blue-green.” (Ko had toyed with naming his party the “White Force,” which, in Chinese, sounds similar to the NPP and does not carry troubling connotations.)

What the party stands for, however, is only beginning to take shape.    [FULL  STORY]

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