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
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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