Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan

The Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) was founded on 28 September 1986 by political, social, and human rights activists, along with defense lawyers of political prisoners. It was then Martial Law, and Taiwan was under the authoritarian regime of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which had fled to the island in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War.

Through social, political movements, and participation in elections, the founders of DPP risked their freedom and their lives to champion for a democratic Taiwan. Indeed, DPP would play an imperative and crucial role in Taiwan’s liberalization and the consolidation of Taiwan’s democracy.

In 2000, DPP captured the presidency, and Taiwan experienced its first transition of political power. From 2000 to 2008, DPP continued to push for freedom of expression, gender, equality, social and transformational justice, judicial impartiality, farmers’ and workers’ rights, and the further realization of Taiwan’s democracy. At the same time, DPP gained valuable experience and lessons as a young party during its eight years of governance.

In 2014, DPP won Taiwan’s nine-in-one elections — the largest local polls in Taiwan’s democratic political history — by a landlside. DPP took 13 out of the 22 cities and countries, including four out of six special municipalities. The election was DPP’s best election  showing yet since its founding. Currently, more than 70% of Taiwan’s population reside under a DPP governing city or county.

In January 2016, under the leadership of its Chairperson Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, the party won a majority in the Legislative Yuan, clinching 68 of the 113 seats. This was the first time in Taiwan’s political history that the legislature experienced a political transition. Dr. Tsai, DPP’s standard bearer in the elections, and her running mate Dr. Chen Chien-jen meanwhile garnered 6.98 million votes or 56.1% of the total. This meant Dr. Tsai would become Taiwan’s first female president.

The year 2016 actually marks the 30th anniversary of the party’s founding. DPP plans to further deepen Taiwan’s democracy and safeguard Taiwan’s democratic institutions for the Taiwanese people. Internationally, DPP continues to promote and strengthen the principles of democracy, advocate for human rights, and good governance through close alliances with democratic countries around the world.

DPP is a founding member of CALD and member of Liberal International.


Tsai Ing-wen

Joseph Wu

Dr. Lo Chih-Cheng
Director, Department of International Affairs

Joy Chen
International Liaison to CALD
10F, No. 30, Pei-ping East Road, Taipei, Taiwan
Telepone: +886 2 239 29989
Fax: +886 2 239 30342


About Us

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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