- Republic of China presidential election, 1996
election_name = Republic of China
presidential election, 1996
country = Republic of China
type = presidential
ongoing = no
next_election = Republic of China presidential election, 2000
next_year = 2000
March 23, 1996
party1 = Kuomintang
popular_vote1 = 5,813,699
percentage1 = 54.0%
party2 = Democratic Progressive Party
popular_vote2 = 2,274,586
percentage2 = 21.1%
party3 = Independent (politician)
popular_vote3 = 1,603,790
percentage3 = 14.9%
map_size = 250px
map_caption = Lee Teng-hui (blue) vs. Lin Yang-kang (yellow). Although the DPP was the runner-up, it did not win any county or city in Taiwan.
title = President
before_colour = 000099
after_colour = 000099
before_party = Kuomintang
after_party = KuomintangThe Election for the 9th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China (第九任中華民國總統 、副總統選舉), the first ever direct elections for President and Vice President of the
Republic of Chinaon Taiwan, occurred on March 23, 1996. The previous eight ROC presidential and vice presidential elections under the 1947 Constitution were by the deputies of the National Assembly.
Lee Teng-huiof the ruling Kuomintangwon a majority of 54% of the votes following missile tests by the People's Republic of Chinaintended to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate against him.
Kuomintangnominated Lee Teng-huiin August 1995at its 14th Party Congress after plans to institute a closed primary system by his opponents were thwarted. As his running mate, Lee chose Lien Chan, who promised to resign as Premier if he were elected Vice President.
The Democratic Progressive Party conducted an extensive nomination process: the presidential candidate was selected after two rounds of voting and fifty public debates by the two finalists.
Hsu Hsin-liang, Lin Yi-hsiung, Yu Ching, and Peng Ming-mincontended for this position. The seventy-two-year-old Peng emerged victorious and nominated legislator Frank Hsiehto be his running mate. Peng opposed trade with mainland Chinaunless the PRC promised to "treat Taiwan as an equal." Though he argued that the One-China policywould lead to another 228 Incident, he took the position that Taiwan was already "de facto" independent so a formal declaration of Taiwan independencewas unnecessary unless the PRC attacked.
Former Taiwan Provincial Governor
Lin Yang-kangran as an independent with former Premier Hau Pei-tsunas his running mate. After the pair registered as candidates on November 27, 1995, a small protest in Taichungdemanded their expulsion from the KMT. On the recommendation of the KMT Disciplinary Committee, their party memberships were "cancelled" (a step short of "expelled") in December for "viciously attacking" Lee Teng-hui and "seriously damaging the party's image and prestige." They were endorsed by New Party after its own nominee dropped out. Lin and Hau likewise campaigned on behalf of the New Party. They supported the One-China Principle and favored opening direct links with the mainland. They argued that the KMT was too corrupt to govern.
A second independent ticket consisted of former Control Yuan President
Chen Li-anfor President and Control Yuan Member Wang Ching-fengfor Vice President. Chen Li-an, the son of former Premier and Vice President Chen Cheng, used his Buddhistbackground (lay leader of the Fo Guang Shanorder) and stressed moral purity and honest government. He walked for eighteen days wearing a famer's straw hat to spread his views.
1996 Taiwan Straits Crisis
March 8to March 15, the People's Liberation Armysent ballistic missileswithin 25 to 35 miles (just inside the ROC's territorial waters) off the ports of Keelung and Kaohsiung. This action was intended to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate into voting against Lee and Peng, which Beijing branded "absolutely identical in attempting to divide the motherland." Similarly, Chen Li-an warned, "If you vote for Lee Teng-hui, you are choosing war." The crisis came to an end when two U.S. aircraft carrierbattle groups were positioned near Taiwan.
Lee, who told his people to resist "state terrorism," was boosted in popularity by the widespread anger (as opposed to fear) caused by the missile tests. Most analysts believed that Lee was boosted 5% in the polls, just enough to have earned him a majority (as opposed to a plurality) in the election.
* [http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/iaps/taiwan/results96.htm B/w candidate portraits]
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