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Ko under fire at city council

Ko under fire at city council

Ko under fire at city council

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je came under fire at the Taipei City Council Tuesday for failing to fulfill promises and for reading Buddhist texts as his popularity sagged.
Ko was elected mayor by a landslide in November 2014, but recent opinion polls have shown his support from the public sagging to its lowest level so far.
After the presentation of his policy report to the city council Tuesday, the outspoken mayor was faulted for failing in his plans to subsidize healthy school lunches, resolve traffic jams, converting a market and other local issues.
In contrast to previous sessions, most of the criticism Tuesday came from the Democratic Progressive Party, the party which helped Ko win election.
The mayor barely reacted to the verbal attacks, reports said, as he consulted documents, talked with Vice Mayor Charles Lin who was seated next to him, or read a small booklet with yellow pages, which was interpreted as being a collection of Buddhist texts.
He answered affirmatively when a DPP city councilor asked him whether he was reading Buddhist texts during the session, provoking an outburst from a Kuomintang councilor telling him he was at the city council, not at a temple meeting.
Opposition politicians also accused him of being responsible for an allegedly record amount of city employees applying to leave their work. Ko’s way of leading his staff was authoritarian, the critics said, so it was understandable while more than 2,000 civil servants had prepared to leave or retire early.
One DPP councilor said the mayor should make fewer controversial statements and do more to fulfill his campaign promises.
The city council session had only started after a boycott by the KMT caucus.