Wybory prezydenckie w Republice Chińskiej na Tajwanie 1996
The presldentlal electlons in the Republlc of China on Taiwan ln 1996
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The electoral campaign is analysed in the context of the crucial political problems of Taiwan: liberalisation of its political system since 1987, tension between the "mainladers" and the native Chinese inhabitants and the. changing role of Kuomintang as a ruling party. The controvers; concerning Taiwans future is also outlined: "one China" concept versus independence. The author describes the origins and political options of the main opposition forces, the Democratic Progress Party and the New Party. The struggle of various fractions and groupings inside Kuomintang and the opposition is presented in detail, as well as the tension between the President and the Parliament. Against this bacground the author outlines both complex political games that preceded elections and changing political culture: its transformation from the traditional authoritarian patterns to more democratic ones. Notwithstanding short history of Taiwan's democracy and some symptoms of its immaturity, its fundamental rules are accepted by all political and social forces. Now the power holders must compete for sympathy of the voters and consider opinions of the population. Kuomintang maintained its leading position owing to its skilful adoption of democratic 'rules of game' and to the traditional obedience towards ruling forces, whereas those of opposition are still treated with certain distrust. Dissident past creates a burden, not an advantage. The elections of 1996 demonstrated that a new 'Taiwanese raison d'etat' was consolidated and the leading political figures in general respected its. requirements at the expense of their personal preferences. Political elites and the electorate manifested a high sense of responsibility. This suggests that political interests of Taiwan, not emotions, will deterrrune the future negotiations with the Peking authorities. Kuomintang's political role will most likely further diminish, whereas the President's power will increase. The necessary reforms of the political system require from both, the President and KMT, the collaboration with DPP.
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