Government, Political Parties
young politicians, informal organization, Kuomintang, Democratic Progressive Party, legislative elections
Taiwan has three major political parties: the Kuomintang (KMT) party, the Democratic Progressive Party, and the New Party. The KMT was Taiwanís ruling party from 1949 to 2000. The KMT approach to government was based on Sun Yat-senís Three Principles of the People, which are nationalism, democracy, and social well being.
Until Taiwan lifted martial law in 1987, parties other than the ruling KMT had little political influence. Starting in the late 1970s an informal organization known as the Outsiders Party attempted to present unified platforms and nominated candidates for elections. In 1986 some members of the Outsiders Party established the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which became the first influential opposition party in Taiwan. Although originally founded as a pro-independence party, the DPP has since softened its stance on complete independence for Taiwan. The New Partyís leadership contains several young politicians and scholars who left the KMT. DPP candidate Chen Shui-bian won presidential elections in March 2000, ending the KMTís longtime political dominance. The KMT suffered another defeat in the December 2001 legislative elections, losing its majority in the National Assembly.
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