Taiwan will hold elections for president and the Legislative Yuan on January 14, 2012. Just a month before voting, the outcomes of elections for these two branches of government remain uncertain. The presidential contest is largely a race between the incumbent, Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang, and Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party. Third-party candidate James Soong threatens to play the role of spoiler, and may deprive President Ma of votes. The legislative elections have received little attention from Taiwan’s domestic media and even less from the international media. But, the new legislature is likely to feature a more balanced distribution of power than the current one, possibly creating political gridlock in a nation facing important internal and domestic challenges.
On December 14, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at Brookings hosted a conversation on Taiwan’s upcoming elections, featuring, Shelley Rigger of Davidson College and Hsu Szu-chien of Academia Sinica. Panelists traced the course of the campaigns; assessed prospects for the races; and identified the possible implications for Taiwan, cross-Strait relations, and the United States. Senior Fellow and CNAPS Director Richard Bush provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, speakers took audience questions.