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Taiwan's 2016 Presidential and Legislative Elections

On January 16, 2016, Taiwanese went to the polls to elect a new president and legislature. The results were historic: Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a landslide victory over two opponents, and the DPP won a comfortable majority in the legislature, giving the party full control over the central government for the first time. In contrast, the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), suffered its worst defeat in the presidential election since 2000, and its worst-ever defeat in the legislative elections, and it faces a long, difficult road to political recovery. This election was also notable for the entry into electoral politics of some of the leaders of the so-called "Sunflower Movement": the upstart New Power Party won five seats, becoming the third-largest party in the legislature.

This seminar features remarks by Larry Diamond, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Affairs, and Kharis Templeman, the program manager of the Taiwan Democracy Project in the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Dr. Diamond and Dr. Templeman will offer their thoughts about who won, why, what it means for Taiwan's democratic development, what to expect from the new government, and how it will affect relations between Taiwan, the United States, and the People's Republic of China.