Shih Meng-teh set to join 2016 Taiwan presidential race

May 20, 2015 13:16
Shih Meng-teh has been supporting democratic forces in Hong Kong. He was reportedly consulted by pro-democracy groups during last year's protests. Photo:

Taiwan activist Shih Ming-teh, a prominent opposition figure, is expected to announce tomorrow that he will run as an independent in next year's presidential election.

Shih, 74, was chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from July 1994 to March 1996.

In 2006, he led a massive protest, which came to be known as Million Voices Against Corruption, in an effort to force then-president Chen Shui-bian to resign.

Some DPP members quoted Shih as saying he will make an official announcement on May 21 regarding his candidacy, along with an outline of his agenda including his cross-strait policy and political ideology, the report said.

In a May 8 Facebook post, Shih said May 21 is the 25th anniversary of his release from prison. He has been jailed twice for a combined 25 years.

The DPP and the ruling Kuomintang said Shih could take away votes from them but added they will respect his decision.

Shih is required to get at least 264,385 signatures from the public before he can register as a candidate.

Shih has been advocating for a Greater China framework to replace the "one China" principle, the basis of the relationship between the cross-strait rivals.

Also, he has been supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and opposing political suppression by Beijing.

Some pro-democracy groups consulted him during last year's protests, according to reports.

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