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Tainan speaker ends graduation speech spat

Tainan speaker ends graduation speech spat

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Contested Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao said Friday he was willing to apologize after a spat over the broadcast of his speech at school graduation ceremonies.
Several schools in the city reportedly received a question from the council about whether or not they had broadcast a recording of Lee’s speech during the recent graduation ceremonies. The request followed a case where parents at one school refused to have the speech aired for allegedly political reasons.
Lee, a former Kuomintang lawmaker, is being investigated for vote-buying in the November 29 election for the city council and in the December 25 election for speaker.
The allegations also provoked a war of words with Tainan City Mayor William Lai, who had expected a candidate from his Democratic Progressive Party to be elected as speaker since it won the highest number of seats on the council.
As a result of the corruption investigation into Lee, Lai and the members of his government team have refused to appear for questioning at the city council. The mayor has been praised for his insistence on democracy and honesty by his supporters, but his boycott of the council has been depicted as unconstitutional by his detractors.
Lee said he was willing to apologize to schools over the request to report about the speech’s broadcast, saying his aide had used exaggerated words in his message to the schools. He also told school management that it was not necessary for them to reply to the request.
A representative of the local association of elementary and secondary schools said he was relieved by Lee’s latest statement, as teachers and schools had felt they were under pressure. They had first decided to wait for a ruling by the city’s Department of Education on the matter, but now that they were no longer obliged to reply to the council’s questions, the problem was over, the spokesman reportedly said.


Updated : 2021-09-29 01:55 GMT+08:00