New Party (Taiwan)

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The New Party (新黨, xīndăng), formerly the Chinese New Party (CNP; 中華新黨, zhōngha xīndăng), is a political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan.

The Chinese New Party was formed out of a split from the then-ruling Kuomintang by members of the New Kuomintang Alliance in August 1993. Members of the Alliance had accused KMT Chairman Lee Teng-hui of autocratic tendencies and moving the party away from Chinese reunification. Originally, the party wanted to keep the name of the faction, but was prevented from doing so due to the similarity of names. The name "New Party" was seemingly inspired by the contemporary electoral success of the Japanese political party Shin-to Sakigake ("New Party Renegades"; see Politics of Japan).

In the mid-1990s, the New Party attracted support from the KMT old guard as well as young urban professionals. The New Party was aided by former Finance Minister Wang Chien-shien and former Environmental Protection Administration Director Jaw Shaw-kong, who had charismatic and clean images.

However, intra-party struggles diminished the party's attraction, and the party became increasingly vulnerable to the accusation that is was a special interest party of Mainlanders in Taiwan. In the 2000 Presidential Election, the party nominated writer and dissident Li Ao who ran a spirited but token campaign. In the election, most members of the party supported James Soong and in fact both Li Ao and the convenor of the New Party encouraged people to do so.

The party was hard hit by the formation of the People First Party after the 2000 elections. Many members and leaders of the New Party, seeing the PFP as a more viable party defected to the PFP. Furthermore, the movement of the Kuomintang back to reunification in 2001 also took with it many voters. The party was essentially annihilated in the legislative elections of December 2001, winning only one seat in Quemoy and was also damaged by the fact that one of its more popular members Wang Chien-shien failed to win the county administrator seat for Taipei county despite pro forma support from all of the members of the pan-blue coalition. The party reemerged in the December 2002 elections, where five of its six candidates for the Taipei City council won election with 9% of the vote. In the 2004 legislative election, the New Party is fielding seven out of its eight candidates under the KMT banner and leaving one candidate to signify the continued existence of the party (a minimum of eight is needed to form a legislative caucus). Plans are underway for a organizational merger with the KMT after the election, a move criticized by some in the PFP because it would pressure the PFP to follow suit.

As New Party grew out of Kuomintang, it is usually associated with the pan-blue coalition. Its party color is yellow.

See also:

External link

zh:臺灣新黨

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