Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan

The Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) was founded on 28 September 1986 as the first Taiwanese-born political party in Taiwan and  the first opposition party created during the Martial Law period. At the time of the DPP’s founding, Taiwan existed under the authoritarian control of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang – KMT), who colonised Taiwan after loosing the civil war against the Chinese Communist Party of China in 1949.

Founded mainly by family members and defence lawyers of political prisoners held by the KMT, the DPP consisted of political activists who risked their freedom and lives to transform Taiwan’s political landscape. With the arrival of the DPP, a new era of rapid democratic change began in Taiwan, transforming a nation previously forced to endure decades of one-party authoritarian rule.

The DPP has since evolved into a party dedicated to ensure social and political justice within Taiwan. The DPP has championed social welfare policies involving the rights of women, senior citizens, children, labours, indigenous people, farmers and other disadvantaged sectors of society. On the political front, the DPP has won many battles for free speech, free press, the freedom of association and respect for human rights. In 2000, Taiwan entered a new period of democracy when the DPP became the first ruling party in Taiwan other than the KMT.

Under two administrations with eight years in government, the DPP earned valuable experience as a young party. Currently, as Taiwan’s major opposition party, the DPP continues striving to preserve democracy and to ensure a balanced and fair system of government that represents the will of the Taiwanese people.

For 2011 the DPP aligned itself with the current trend changes in Taiwan listening to the voices of the public and issuing the 10-Year Policy Platform, a policy package that includes major policy recommendations for Taiwan in the aspects of international and cross strait affairs, gender equality, social fairness and economic development.

In 2012 the DPP entered the presidential election race under the leadership of Dr. Tsai Ing-wen as the Party Chair and the first female presidential candidate in Taiwan. Although defeated by the incumbent KMT president, the DPP was able to garner a support rate of 45.6%, an increase of 4.08% from the 2008 presidential election. Additionally the DPP also won 40 legislative seats, an increase of 13 from the last legislative election. The party is now headed by Su Tseng-chang.

Internationally the DPP continues to adhere to the principles of democracy, human rights and good governance through close alliances with democratic countries around the world. The DPP is a member of Liberal International and a founding member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.




Su Tseng-chang

Lin Hsi-yao

Shih-chung Liu
Department of International Affairs


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The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Korea’s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.
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