Republic of China National Assembly election, 1912

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Republic of China National Assembly elections, 1912
Republic of China (1912–49)
December 1912 − January 1913 → 1918

870 seats to the National Assembly
(274 seats to the Senate + 596 seats to the House of Representatives)
  First party Second party
  Song Jiaoren.jpg Li Yuan-hung.jpg
Leader Song Jiaoren Li Yuanhong
Party Kuomintang Republican
Senate won 123 55
House won 269 120

  Third party Fourth party
  Zhang Binglin Vt & Kh 208.jpg Tang Hualong.jpg
Leader Zhang Binglin Tang Hualong
Party Unity Democratic
Senate won 6 8
House won 18 16

Premier before election

Zhao Bingjun

Elected Premier

Zhao Bingjun

The Republic of China National Assembly elections, 1912, held in December 1912 to January 1913, were the first elections for the new founded Republic of China Senate and House of Representatives.


The poll was indirect as voters chose some 30,000 electors who chose about 2,000 members of the provincial assemblies and 596 members of the House of Representatives. which caused instances of bribery. 274 members of the Senate were elected by the members of the provincial assemblies who were elected in 1909. Adult males over the age of 21 who were educated or owned property and paid taxes and who could prove two-year residency in a particular county could vote.[1] An estimated 40 million, 4-6% of China's population were registered for the election.[2] The Senate was elected by the provincial assemblies which had themselves been elected in 1909 during the Qing dynasty. The president had to pick the 64 members representing Tibet, Outer Mongolia, and Overseas Chinese due to practical reasons. However, these elections had the participation of over 300 civic groups and were the first and most competitive nationwide elections in Chinese history.

The Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) led by Song Jiaoren won a plurality in both houses of the assembly and expected to become the Premier.[2] By order of seats, the Republican, Unity, and Democratic (formerly Constitutionalist) parties later merged into the Progressive Party under Liang Qichao, became the main rival to the Nationalists.

Song was assassinated on March 20, 1913. When the assembly convened for the first time on April 8 amid heated debate over the assassination, the Nationalists were divided over solutions on how to deal with Yuan Shikai, the provisional president who was suspected of the crime. Sun Yat-sen led a faction to rebel against Yuan on July 12 but was completely defeated within two months. The National Assembly members were compromised by threats and bribes from Yuan. He confined them and forced them to elect him formal president. Next, he outlawed the Nationalists and expelled them from the assembly. Without a quorum, it could not convene so Yuan disbanded it on 10 January 1914.

Election results[edit]

Party Senate House Total seats Seat percentage
Nationalist (國民黨) 123 269 392 45.06%
Republican (共和黨) 55 120 175 20.11%
Unity (統一黨) 6 18 24 2.76%
Democratic (民主黨) 8 16 24 2.76%
Multi-party candidates 38 147 185 21.26%
Nonpartisan 44 26 70 8.05%
Totals 274 596 870 100%

See also[edit]