Dissident embodies democratic change

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 March, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 March, 1996, 12:00am

PENG MING-MIN Dr Peng Ming-min, the Democratic Progressive Party's candidate, is the island's best-known dissident and an embodiment of its democratic transformation.

The 72-year-old, who was jailed on sedition charges in the 1960s, fled abroad in 1970. He is fighting the election on the same platform that decades ago branded him a traitor - independence for Taiwan.

Dr Peng spent most of his 23 years in exile in the US, holding various academic posts and continuing to propound Taiwan independence.

Born in a small town in central Taiwan, he returned in 1992 when the Kuomintang, invited exiled dissidents home.

His opponents say he lacks political experience, saying his years abroad have left him out of touch.