Senior engineer to be appointed acting Kaohsiung mayor after pro-China mayor ousted: Report

Mayoral by-election in S. Taiwan city expected to be held before or on Sept. 12

Yang Ming-jou.

Yang Ming-jou. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Less than a week after China-leaning Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was recalled in a vote, the Executive Yuan is reportedly poised to designate a senior Kaohsiung government official with an engineering background as acting mayor of the city.

Yang Ming-jou (楊明州) started his civil servant career in 1984 as an engineer after graduating from National Cheng Kung University. He was promoted to deputy mayor by Chen Chu (陳菊), who served as mayor of Kaohsiung between 2006 and 2018. Yang remained in management positions after Han succeed Chen in 2018 — first as the city's secretary-general and later as a counselor.

Yang has served nine mayors during his service in Kaohsiung. According to reports, his expertise in civil engineering and urban development is highly valued and is believed to have helped the city government effectively prepare for inclement weather and flooding during monsoon and typhoon season.

Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) on Thursday (June 11) declined to comment on the rumor, saying the appointment will not be announced until the Central Election Commission officially announces the results of the recall vote on the seventh day after it was held, which is Friday (June 12).

According to the recall law, a mayoral by-election must be held within three months of the announcement — or, in this case, no later than Sept. 12. Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), who lost to Han in the 2018 mayoral election, is rumored to resign from his post in June to join the race on behalf of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).