Taiwan’s 2024 Elections: A Moving Political Landscape with China Remaining Front and Center Ifri Memos, January 9, 2024
On January 13th the young Taiwanese democracy will hold its 8th presidential election since direct universal suffrage began in 1996. The same day, the people of Taiwan will elect a new Parliament – the Legislative Yuan – which will start its term on February 1st. President Tsai Ingwen’s second and final term will come to an end in May.
This election is unique in many respects as it showcases a moving political landscape and shifting divides. Three duets of president and vice-president candidates are competing.
The traditional political cleavages between the green and blue camps have faded. The opposition between pro-unification and pro-independence, and between pro-Chinese and pro-Taiwanese identities, no longer holds. New debates have emerged: choosing between war and peace, or between democracy and dictatorship.
Structural political issues still hold nonetheless, particularly the relationship with Beijing, which remains at the forefront.
Yet, the legislative ballot reserves even greater surprise and may well open up a four-year sequence wherein a presidential party faces a hung Parliament.