Date: 19 November 2018
By: Lauren Dickey
On Saturday, the people of Taiwan will head to the polls to cast ballots for more
than 11,000 officials. Taiwan’s citizens will vote for the mayors of the “big six” special municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. Also up for election are 13 county commissioners, about 900 councillors, 56 indigenous district representatives, nearly 2,300 local representatives, and over 7,700 borough wardens.
Despite the scale of candidates and positions in this year’s local elections, Taiwan’s domestic political environment is unlikely to change overnight. Much like midterm elections in other democracies, these elections are a barometer for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under President Tsai Ing-wen and a prelude to presidential and legislative elections in 2020.
This year’s elections are likely to provide a clearer sense of how satisfied the general public is with the DPP.
The local elections are the first test for the DPP since it stepped into power following the 2016 presidential and legislative elections. This year’s elections are likely to provide a clearer sense of how satisfied the general public is with the DPP. Domestic issues – ranging from the economy to marriage equality and energy supplies – are likely to influence how the people of Taiwan choose to vote.
While the outcomes of the election may have implications for Taiwan’s relationship with China or foreign policy issues, it is worth remembering that local elections tend to focus primarily on local and national issues. [FULL STORY]