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Tainan mayor given a reprimand for boycotting city council meetings

Tainan mayor given a reprimand for boycotting city council meetings

TaIpei, Oct. 30 (CNA) Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te (???) was given a reprimand by a commission under the Judicial Yuan Friday for failing to attend Tainan City Council meetings for more than 200 days. The disciplinary action, however, will not affect the duty and salary of Lai, who was elected by the people to head the city. The Control Yuan, the branch of government in Taiwan charged with investigating and censuring improper behavior by civil servants and elected officials, voted to impeach Lai by a 7-2 margin in early August for "gross negligence" because Lai had not fulfilled his duty to attend question-and-answer sessions at the council. His case was then turned over to the Disciplinary Sanctions of Public Functionaries Commission (????????). "The commission's move highlighted the fact that democracy is ruled by law, not by men," said Control Yuan member Chang Kuei-mei (???), who first proposed impeaching Lai. She said that the division of responsibility and the balance of power is the fundamental spirit of democracy, and nobody should rise above the system with his own interpretations. "Even with high votes or popularity, everyone should tread the road of democracy," she said. In response, Lai said he remains committed to his original goal. "Even if disciplined by the commission, my original goal of reform will remain unchanged," he said. The popular mayor said that he turned from doctor to politician because he is committed to reforming and safeguarding Taiwan. Lai expressed the hope that the public will continue to support his efforts to eradicate "black gold" politics, which refers to the collaboration of politicians, business people and criminal elements to corrupt Taiwan's political system. Lai didn't say whether he thinks the discipline is too harsh or whether he plans to ask for a review. He ended an eight-month boycott of city council meetings to protest against alleged vote-buying by Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (???) in late August. On Jan. 6, Lai said that he would not attend any city council meetings until the vote-buying allegations against Lee had been addressed through the judicial system.
Lee, a member of the KMT, won the election for council speaker on Dec. 25, 2014 by defeating then-incumbent Speaker Lai Mei-hui (???) of the DPP by a 29-26 margin, even though the KMT held only 16 seats in the 57-member council, compared with the DPP's 29. Lee was indicted on vote-buying charges in early April and released on NT$15 million (US$473,190) bail by the Tainan District Court. Lee was also implicated in vote buying during the run-up to the Nov. 29, 2014 municipal elections, in which he won a seat on the city council. (By Sophia Yeh, Chang Jung-hsiang and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-26 15:10 GMT+08:00