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ROC presidential election, 2000


The second ever direct popular elections for President and Vice President of the Republic of China on Taiwan were held on March 18, 2000. With a voter turnout of 82.69%, Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu of the Democratic Progressive Party were elected president and vice president, respectively. This put an end to more than half a century of Kuomintang rule on Taiwan.

Presidential candidate VP candidate Political affiliation Total votes Percentage of ballots cast
Chen Shui-bian (W)Annette LuDemocratic Progressive Party4,977,73739.3%
James SoongChang Chau-hsiungIndependent4,664,93236.8 %
Lien ChanVincent SiewKuomintang2,925,51323.1%
Hsu Hsing-liangJosephine ChuIndependent79,4290.63%
Li AoElmer FungNew Party16,7820.13%
Votes cast12,786,671
Voter turnout82.69%
Valid votes12,664,393
Invalid votes122,278

It is believed that the split of the pro-Chinese reunification vote between James Soong and Lien Chan played a large role in pro-Taiwan independence candidate Chen Shui-bian's election.

Though more popular and consistently ranked higher in the polls, James Soong failed to gain the Kuomintang's nomination over Vice President Lien Chan. As a result, he announced his candidacy as an independent candidate. The Kuomintang responded by expelling Soong and his allies from the party. Some people believe President Lee Teng-hui was secretly supporting Chen Shui-bian, and purposely supported the less popular Lien in order to split the Kuomintang.

Initially leading in the polls, Soong lost by just over 300,000 votes, after the KMT sued him for embezzlement. Lien finished a distant third. The New Party's candidate, Li Ao, endorsed James Soong in the final stages of the election, citing that he did not want the pro-reunification vote to be split.

The last minute endorsement of Chen Shui-bian by President of the Academia Sinica and Nobel laureate Yuan T. Lee is also thought to have played a role in his election.

See also: