Taiwan voters will elect a new president and legislature this weekend. The executive race involves three candidates from the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) and the insurgent Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).
The Taiwan election is a crucial event in Indo-Pacific politics and US-China relations. 19 million voter will decide if the DPP stays in power for a third term. The latest polls show DPP with a five point lead on the KMT party, with the TPP falling behind. Local concerns center on the DPP’s policy record, stagnant wages, high inflation and rising housing prices.
This election is a referendum on continuing President Tsai Ing-wen’s policies. The DPP’s moderate approach strained relations with Beijing, leading to severed communications and increased military pressure. However, the election is marked by uncertainty, with many Taiwanese seeking renewed dialogue with the mainland amid economic challenges. In the short term, a second run-off between incumbent DPP and KMT is expected. In the mid to long-term this election will also show the effects and results of new AI technology in disinformation campaigns ahead of the over 40 elections this year.
Alex is an analyst and writes for the Daily Brief.