With the 2020 Taiwan presidential race now an all-but-foregone conclusion, attention is now focussed on the legislative races being held concurrently. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is angling to keep their legislative majority, which they may or may not keep. The party knows from hard experience during the presidency of their own Chen Shui-bian, when an opposition coalition of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People’s First Party (PFP) made life difficult for the party and the president’s agenda.
I’m of the opinion they will keep their majority and will win roughly the same number of seats they hold now, plus or minus a few–but there are enough uncertainties the DPP can’t afford to be complacent.
In past elections the bulk of the party’s attention would be on the district races, but this year the party list is getting more attention than in past elections. Normally dull lists of academic worthies and political heavyweights, the KMT this time packed their party list with older, politically connected men and, most controversially, some candidates considered by the public as being loyal to Communist China.
Most controversial on the list is retired lieutenant general Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), who–for example–went to the PRC and attended a speech by Chairman Xi Jinping, and was observed to have stood for the national anthem (it’s unclear if he sang along). He’s also appeared on TV giving advice to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on how to defeat Taiwan’s close partner the United States in a war, among other actions that call into question his loyalty to the nation.
To almost everyone’s dismay–including within the KMT–he was put at number four on the party list, which is widely considered “safe” as the proportion of the vote the KMT gets in even the worst of elections for the party is well above the votes needed for him to enter the legislature. Once in the legislature he will have access to sensitive government documents, a point on which his critics are heavily focused.
This has catapulted the deeply unpopular KMT party list into a campaign issue for the DPP to use on the stump.
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