lørdag 1. august 2020

Taiwan Mourns Death of 'Mr Democracy,' Former President Lee Teng-hui

Taiwan on Friday mourned the death of its former president Lee Teng-hui, widely regarded as the man who brought about the island's democratic transition. Flags were flown at half-mast to mark Lee's death at the age of 97 on Thursday evening, while tributes poured in to honor a consummate politician who presided over Taiwan's transition from authoritarian state under the Kuomintang (KMT) nationalist regime to a pluralistic democracy.

In 1996, Lee graced the cover of Newsweek with the words "Mr. Democracy" emblazoned under his photograph, after he became the first president to be chosen by direct, universal suffrage, in spite of military intimidation by China.

In the first election of a president under universal suffrage in Taiwan, Lee swept to a landslide victory as KMT candidate in the March 23, 1996 poll with 54 percent of the vote, becoming the first Taiwan-born politician to lead the country, which is still formally known as the Republic of China, an entity founded at the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911.