In part, the reaction against KMT corruption goes back to lingering institutions that hail from the authoritarian and the former party-state. During that period, the KMT built political loyalist networks by providing its supporters with kickbacks at the local level. In many cases, this remains how the KMT continues to win votes in post-authoritarian Taiwan, through providing kickbacks to their supporters when elected.
In this way, clientelism and crony capitalism is rife on the part of the KMT, these being a lingering legacy of the former KMT developmentalist state. But it is as such that KMT politicians have acted in support of actions enraging of Taiwanese civil society, such as when development companies forcibly evict residents in order for the sake of commercial development and this is done with the support of local politicians who compel the police to act in defense of development companies or even to turn a blind eye to criminals that development companies use for intimidation.
Photo credit: KMT/Facebook
However, in the years prior to the Sunflower Movement, DPP local politicians were increasingly perceived as similarly corrupt in developing their own corrupt, clientelist networks during the DPP’s years in power during the Chen administration. This is a large factor as to why Sunflower Movement activists were distrustful of not only the KMT, but also the DPP.