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Tainan speaker willing to visit Tainan mayor to address deadlock

Tainan speaker willing to visit Tainan mayor to address deadlock

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) The speaker of the Tainan City Council said Tuesday he will pay a visit to the southern city's mayor if necessary, an attempt to end the standstill after the city government said it will not work with the speaker over allegations he won his position through vote buying. Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao, a member of the Kuomintang (KMT), said he was surprised by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mayor, Lai Ching-te, who said earlier in the day he "will not enter the city council again until the case (against Lee) is cleared up by the judiciary." Lee argued the mayor should set aside his personal stance on the matter in order to keep the city moving and serve the public interest, as a stalemate between the city government and council would hurt the interests of Tainan's 1.88 million people. He said he would visit Lai in person to try and hammer out a solution if necessary. Lee is under investigation for allegedly paying off voters to elect him to the council on Nov. 29, and then paying off councilors to elect him as speaker on Dec. 25. He won the speakership with 29 votes in the 57-member city council, even though the KMT only holds 16 seats and its major rival, the DPP, holds 28. On Monday, investigators seized the ballots from the speaker poll, which came after they filed a petition with the court on Dec. 31 to invalidate Lee's election as a city councilor. Tainan is a stronghold of the DPP and has been run by the party uninterrupted since 1997. (By Chang Jung-hsiang and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-27 16:06 GMT+08:00