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Republic of China legislative election, 1980: Wikis

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On December 6, 1980 the fourth supplementary election took place for members of both legislative bodies of the Republic of China, the National Assembly and the (first) Legislative Yuan, elected originally in 1948.

Originally these elections were scheduled for December 1978. They were postponed because of the shock caused by the United States after breaking off their diplomatic relations with the Republic of China just days before the elections were planned. They were subsequently held on December 6, 1980. These elections became a turning point. Under the leadership of President Chiang Ching-kuo agreements were made with Tangwai leaders and other independent politicians so they could compete for seats with Kuomintang candidates. So these elections were the first competitive elections for Taiwan on a national level.

Compared with the last supplementary elections (1972 for the National Assembly and 1975 for the Legislative Yuan respectively) the number of eligible seats for the National Assembly had been increased from 53 to 76 and for the Legislative Yuan from 52 to 97. Of these, 70 represented Taiwan Province and the special municipalities of Taipei and Kaohsiung were to be elected directly. The remaining 27 seats were to represent Mainland Chinese living on Taiwan. These delegates were chosen by the President after being advised by organizations representing the Mainland Chinese population on Taiwan.

Turnout for both the supplementary elections of the National Assembly and the Legislative Yuan was 66,4%. Of the newly elected members to the National Assembly 61 belonged to the Kuomintang, one to 1 the Chinese Youth Party and 14 were independents. Of the 70 directly elected delegates to the Legislative Yuan 56 belonged to the Kuomintang and 14 were independents. Of these independents 9 could be counted to the Tangwai. All chosen were born Taiwanese except for 14 (7 in each of the legislative bodies) who were born on the Mainland or from parents from the Mainland.

Further reading

Copper, John F. and George P. Chen (1984), Taiwan’s Elections. Political Development and Democratization in the Republic of China, [Baltimore, Md.], Occasional Papers/Reprints Series in Contemporary Asian Studies, no. 5-1984 (64), ISBN 0-942182-66-9

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