Tiananmen Square dissident Wu'er Kaixi to stand for election to Taiwan parliament

Former student activist Wu'er Kaixi fled the mainland after pro-democracy protests were crushed in 1989

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 July, 2015, 12:09am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 July, 2015, 2:50pm
AFP

Share

A leading dissident who fled the mainland after pro-democracy protests were crushed in 1989 launched an election bid in Taiwan on Friday, calling on the island's government to stand up to Beijing.

Former student activist Wu'er Kaixi , who has been barred from the mainland since fleeing after the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown, accused Taiwanese authorities of "self-censorship" in their approach to Beijing as he announced his candidacy for parliamentary elections.

"In the last three, four decades, cross-strait relations have been [about] trying not to provoke Beijing, [there has been] self-censorship," Wu'er said in the central municipality of Taichung, where he will run as an independent candidate.

"Compromise is not the way forward, patience is simply a delaying tactic. Only by taking the initiative can the people of Taiwan take control of their fate."

The vote for legislators in January will coincide with the island's presidential election.

Wu'er's candidacy comes as support for President Ma Ying-jeou and the ruling Kuomintang wanes because of a weak economy and fears over warming ties with the mainland.

The KMT is expected to lose its majority in parliament for the first time ever in the January vote and is also tipped for defeat in the presidential race.

Wu'er, 47, who has lived in Taiwan almost 20 years, is running against two candidates in a district of Taichung that has around 310,000 eligible voters.