Taiwan. According to
CountryAAH, the total population in Taiwan is 23,816,786 people in 2020.
The March election to the presidential post was
bordered by drama. Shortly before Election Day, incumbent
President Chen Shuibian and his Vice President Annette Lu
were shot in the open street in the city of Tainan by
unknown perpetrators. Both suffered minor injuries.
Speculation about who was behind the murder trials came to
an end; a rumor said that Chen's own staff had staged
attacks to increase the president's popularity.
Chen won the election, but by a very small margin
(one-quarter percent), over Lien Chan from the Nationalist
Party (Guomindang). The opposition made allegations of
electoral fraud and demanded recalculation. The Election
Commission ruled that Chen had won, but in April a court
ruled that the votes would be recalculated. When Chen was
declared a winner for the second time, the conversion was
not yet complete.
In his inaugural speech, Chen downplayed his ambitions
for an independent Taiwan and promised not to go ahead with
his plans for a referendum to change the constitution so
that Taiwan could become independent. The translation in May
showed the same result as before. Despite this, there was
widespread doubt among residents that Chen was the country's
This was reflected in the parliamentary elections in
December, when an opposition alliance with the Nationalist
Party prevailed. The alliance received 114 of the 225 seats,
while President Chen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP),
along with the Brotherhood Party of Taiwan's Solidarity
Union (TSU), won 101 seats. The remaining ten seats went to
independent candidates or smaller parties. The Nationalist
Party protects good relations with China and opposes claims
for Taiwanese independence. The election result meant that
President Chen is likely to find it difficult to push
through disputed projects, e.g. large arms purchases from
the USA. After the election defeat, Chen resigned as party
leader for DPP.