On 15 March 1997, by-elections were held in Taoyuan County to fill the seat of the County magistrate, which fell empty last Fall when the KMT Magistrate was killed in a gangster attack on his home.
The election was won overwhelmingly by Ms. (Annette) Lü Hsiu-lien, a former political prisoner, who was imprisoned in December 1979 for advocating a free, democractic and independent Taiwan during the Human Rights Day commemoration which turned into the "Kaohsiung Incident."
After her release from prison in March 1985, Ms. Lü first went to the US for graduate studies at Harvard, but in 1992 returned to Taiwan to became active again in the democratic opposition of the DPP, and ran succesfully for a seat in the Legislative Yuan in December 1992.
During the past years she was one of the leaders of the "Taiwan into the UN" campaign and was also an outspoken advocate of women's rights in Taiwan and around the world.
According to a report by Associated Press, Ms. Lü's election means that more than half the island's population is now governed by opposition county magistrates or mayors: the capital Taipei has a DPP-mayor, Mr. Chen Shui-bian, and seven of the 22 counties now have a DPP magistrate. Together, these eight DPP-governed constituencies account for 50.16% of Taiwan's population.
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