POLITICIAN'S CHEQUERED CAREER
Taipei native Frank Hsieh, 58, has served as a lawyer, Taipei city councillor, lawmaker, chairman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second-largest city.
He began his political career earlier than Chen Shui-bian, and lost out to him in the race for the DPP nomination as Taipei mayor in 1994.
His political career was hurt in the mid-1990s due to his links to a religious cult headed by Sung Chi-li.
He made an unsuccessful bid for the vice-presidency in 1996 as the running mate of pro-independence hardliner Peng Ming-min.
Mr Hsieh continued his political career in southern Taiwan, becoming mayor of Kaohsiung in 1998.