Taiwan Presidential Election 2020: Party nominees

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2020 Taiwan Presidential Election

On March 23, 1996, the people of Taiwan exercised their right to directly elect their president for the first time.

In 1996, Taiwan was preparing to hold its first direct presidential election. This brought it into the international spotlight, leading to the "Taiwan Strait Missile Crisis." The communist government of China launched a series of military exercises to express its opposition to the elections and launched three missiles into the Taiwan Strait. The missiles entered Taiwanese waters off the ports of Keelung and Kaohsiung. The United States then dispatched two aircraft carriers, the USS Independence and USS Nimitz, to participate in the defense of the island.

Four candidates ran in the 1996 election, which concluded on March 23, 1996, and Lee Teng-hui became the first democratically elected president of Taiwan. Interestingly, Ma Ying-jeou, who was resolutely opposed to the direct presidential election, served as the 4th president of Taiwan between 2008 and 2016.

=> Presidential candidates: party nominees

=> Presidential candidate qualifications

=> List of presidential elections in Taiwan


2020 Taiwan Presidential Election

  • Polling Day: Jan. 11, 2020
  • Election session: The 15th election for president and vice president of Taiwan, the country’s seventh direct presidential election and vice presidential election
  • Electoral system: A universal, direct, secret, single non-transferable, and plurality voting system
  • Date of inauguration: May 20, 2020
  • System and stipulations related to Taiwan’s president
    In 1996, for the first time, the president of Taiwan was directly elected to a four-year term with a term limit of two terms. Taiwan’s political system is a semi-presidential system. The powers vested in the president of Taiwan, as provided by the Constitution, can be categorized into five major areas: diplomacy, military, executive power, legislation, and justice.
  • Candidates: There are two ways to produce candidates. One is through nomination by a political party, and the other is through being co-signed by the voters.

Party nominees

  • Democratic Progressive Party (DPP: Democratic Progressive Party): Tsai Ing-wen
  • Kuomintang (KMT: Chinese Nationalist Party): Han Kuo-yu
  • PFP: People First Party: Not yet decided
  • NPP: New Power Party: Not yet decided
  • Independents (nominated by petitions signed by eligible voters) : Not yet decided
    Nomination of party candidate: According to the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law, parties whose candidates garner more than 5 percent of the valid votes in the latest president and vice president election, or legislative election, are qualified to recommend their party candidates to participate in the 2020 presidential election. As stipulated by the rules, the DPP, KMT(China Nationalist Party), PFP, and NPP are qualified to do so. In addition to party recommendation, nomination by petitions signed by eligible voters is another way to qualify for participation in the presidential election. In order to qualify, the number of people signing the petition must exceed 1.5 percent of the electorate in the latest legislative election (about 270,000).

DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) presidential nominee

On June 19, 2019, the DPP officially nominated Tsai Ing-wen as its presidential candidate for the 2020 election.

Tsai Ing-wen

KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party) presidential nominee

On July 28, 2019, the KMT officially nominated Han Kuo-yu as its candidate to challenge sitting president Tsai Ing-wen.

Han Kuo-yu

Presidential candidate qualifications

  • According to Article 20 of the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law, an elector who has lived in Taiwan for more than six months, domiciled in Taiwan for more than 15 years, and is more than 40 years old, is qualified to register as a candidate for president or vice president. Anyone who restores their Taiwan nationality, or acquires nationality by naturalization, or are residents of China, Hong Kong or Macao, may not be registered as the candidate for president or vice president.
  • According to Article 22 of the law, the DPP(Democratic Progressive Party), KMT(Chinese Nationalist Party), PFP(People First Party), and NPP(New Power Party) are qualified to directly recommend a ticket for the presidential election.
  • As provided under Article 23 of the law, those who apply to be registered as candidates for president and vice president by way of joint signature should register, and the number of joint signatories, within the period set forth in the article, should reach 1.5 percent of the total voters in the latest legislative election. For example, the electorate in the latest legislative election was 18,692,217, the applicant must have 280,384 joint signatories to qualify as a candidate.

List of presidential elections in Taiwan (presidents directly elected since 1996)

6th: Tsai Ing-wen (20 May 2016 -- 20 May 2020)
5th: Ma Ying-jeou (20 May 2012 -- 20 May 2016)
4th: Ma Ying-jeou (20 May 2008 -- 20 May 2012)
3rd: Chen Shui-bian (20 May 2004 -- 20 May 2008)
2nd: Chen Shui-bian (20 May 2000 -- 20 May 2004)
1st: Lee Teng-hui (20 May 1996 -- 20 May 2000)