Democratic Progressive Party

Published 30th December, 2011

The Democratic Progressive Party or DPP was founded in 1986 by a group of dissidents who wanted to promote a multi-party democracy. At the time the party was still restricted by martial law. The DPP describes itself as centrist and liberal and believes in Taiwanese nationalism, self determination, Taiwan independence and anti-communism.

Obtaining legal status in 1989 the party fought its first general election in the same year and won 21 of the 130 seats in the Legislative Yuan.

The DPP continued to increase its representation going up to 51 seats in 1992 out of 161 seats, then 54 of 164 seats in 1995 and 70 of 225 seats in 1998.

In 2000 the party achieved the breakthrough it had been seeking and its presidential candidate, Chen Shui-bian, won with 39.3% of the vote. He won again in 2004, taking 50.11% of the vote.

Unfortunately the party was not able to give its president the same support in the Legislative Yuan. Although it became the largest party in 2001 with 87 of the 225 seats in the Legislative Yuan, the KMT were able to form the Pan Blue coalition which kept the DPP out of government.

The same happened in 2004 and in 2008 the DPP slipped back, taking just 27 of the 113 seats in the Legislative Yuan. The KMT also won the presidential election of the same year.

The Democratic Progressive Party is a member of Liberal International and a founding member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.

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