Lin Yi-hsiung endorsed for DPP chairmanship

Taipei, 10 March 1998

On 9 March 1998, Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian gave his endorsement to Mr. Lin Yi-hsiung for the position chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party. Elections for that position are coming up in May of this year, when the present chairman, Hsu hsin-liang is ending his term.

Mr. Chen said that no-one can match Mr. Lin's qualifications, experience and sacrifice to the democratic movement on the island. He also praised Mr. Lin's high standards. He said he hoped the election for the chairmanship will provide the DPP with a good headstart for the upcoming elections for the Legislative Yuan at the end of 1998.

Mr. Chen also emphasized that Mr. Lin would be the best person to lead the DPP into the 21st century, and that under his leadership the DPP would have the best chance to become Taiwan's ruling party in the year 2000, when presidential elections will be held.

Mr. Lin is one of Taiwan's most prominent opposition figures. He became well-known in the late 1970s, when as a young lawyer he became member of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly, and was one of the first people to speak out against the Kuomintang's corruption and repression under its Martial Law, which wasn't lifted until 1987.

His life took a tragic turn in the aftermath of the Kaohsiung Incident of 1979, when he was arrested, and on 28 February 1980 -- while he was in prison -- his mother and twin-daughters were murdered in their home in downtown Taipei, while the house was under surveillance by the secret police. A third daughter was injured severely from knife stabbings, but survived. The Kuomintang authorities never solved the murder although there were strong indications of involvement by the secret police.

After "Kaohsiung", Mr. Lin was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, but was released after four-and-a-half years due to strong international pressure. After his release he has dedicated himself to improvement of Taiwan's social structure and enhancement of the Taiwanese cultural identity, instead of the Chinese identity, which has been emphasized by the mainlander-dominated Kuomintang authorities.

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