People First Party (Republic of China)

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People First Party
親民黨
Qīnmíndǎng
Leader James Soong
Founded 2000
Headquarters Taipei City, Republic of China
Ideology Anti-communism,
Conservatism,
Chinese nationalism
Political position Centre-right
International affiliation None
Legislative Yuan
3 / 113
Local Councillors
5 / 906
Website
pfp.org.tw
Politics of the Republic of China
Political parties
Elections
People First Party
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

The People First Party (PFP; Chinese: 親民黨; pinyin: Qīnmíndǎng) is a conservative political party in the Republic of China (ROC).

History[edit]

The PFP was founded by James Soong and his supporters after his failed independent bid for the presidency in 2000. Soong is the chairman and dominates much of its politics. The name of the party, qinmin, has Confucian connotations.[note 1]

The official goals of PFP, as regards to cross-strait relationships and diplomacy, is for the ROC to: participate in more international organizations, promote Chinese culture overseas and seek economic and cultural interaction between Taiwan and the mainland. Its views are seen as generally favorable towards Chinese unification and staunchly against Taiwan independence.

The party maintains a close but tense relationship with the Kuomintang (KMT) as part of the pan-blue coalition. However, since PFP had, like the New Party, grown out of the KMT, the two parties had to compete for the same set of voters. This dynamic in which both the KMT and PFP must simultaneously compete and cooperate with each other has led to complex and interesting politics.

In several notable cases, this has led to situations in which both parties have run candidates, but close to the election the party with the less popular candidate unofficially dropped out of the race. This in turn has led to some notable situations when either the PFP or the KMT has campaigned against its own candidate, which has led to intra-party resentment.

To avoid a repeat of this effect, which led to the election of Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian to the presidency in 2000 by a low share of votes, Chairman Soong ran as vice-president on KMT Chairman Lien Chan's presidential ticket in the 2004 presidential election.

After his defeat in Taipei mayoral election on 9 December 2006, Soong announced that he would quit political life, including the chairmanship of the Party. At this point, with no clear goals, the PFP faced an uncertain future, and considered merging with the Kuomintang. After much negotiation, the PFP and the KMT did not merge.

2012 Presidential election[edit]

In September 2011, James Soong mounted the PFP's first-ever presidential bid and selected academic Ruey-Shiung Lin to be his running mate. The PFP collected sufficient signatures to qualify for the 2012 Presidential Election ballot.[1]

The Soong-Lin ticket was listed third on the Election Day ballot as determined by a random draw. The DPP's Tsai-Su ticket appeared first, and the incumbent KMT's Ma-Wu ticket appeared second.[2]

While analysts feared that a PFP run will split the Pan-Blue Coalition vote and hand a winnable election to the DPP (as was the case in the 2000 Presidential election), Soong has insisted that his campaign is a serious one and that he will complete his run.[3][4] On election day, however, the Soong-Lin ticket underperformed and garnered a mere 2.77% of votes.

Election results[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Candidate Running mate Total votes Share of votes Outcome
2004 Lien Chan (Blue Sky White Sun.pngKMT) James Soong Chu-yu 6,423,906 49.8% Lost Red XN
2012 James Soong Chu-yu Lin Ruey-shiung 369,588 2.77% Lost Red XN

Legislative elections[edit]

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
2001
46 / 225
1,917,836 20.3% Increase29 seats; Governing coalition (Pan-Blue) James Soong Chu-yu
2004
34 / 225
1,350,613 14.78% Decrease12 seats; Governing coalition (Pan-Blue) James Soong Chu-yu
2008
1 / 113
28,254 0.3% Decrease33 seats; Governing coalition (Pan-Blue) James Soong Chu-yu
2012
3 / 113
722,089 5.49% Increase2 seats; Opposition (Unaligned) James Soong Chu-yu

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
2005
18 / 300
236,716 6.11% Increase18 seats; Opposition (Rejecting amendments) James Soong Chu-yu

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Qinmin (親民) literally means "close to the people." The Great Learning states, "What the Great Learning teaches, is—to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence" (Tr. Legge, 大學之道明明德,在親民,在止於至善。)

References[edit]

External links[edit]