Gov’t rails at Lai’s spat with coun­cil

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Tainan Mayor Wil­liam Lai’s ( ) con­tin­ual re­fusal to at­tend the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s coun­cil meet­ings saw new de­vel­op­ments yes­ter­day, as the Con­trol Yuan (

) called for in­quiry meet­ings with Lai, cit­ing the mayor’s clash with his coun­cil as a “sys­tem prob­lem.”

For the past sev­eral months, Lai has boy­cotted coun­cil meet­ings due to vote-buy­ing al­le­ga­tions against Tainan City Coun­cil Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (

) . The Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party ( DPP) ac­cused the Kuom­intang ( KMT) of pay­ing off DPP coun­cilors to back KMT mem­ber Lee in the city coun­cilor elec­tions and spokesman vote last year.

While Lai was backed up by DPP pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Tsai Ing- wen ( ) , who ex­pressed “re­spect” to­ward Lai’s de­ci­sion to stand up against vote- buy­ing, Lai ac­cepted in­quiries later yes­ter­day with Con­trol Yuan of-

fi­cials in Taipei City.

A Po­lit­i­cal Prob­lem: Lai

Of­fi­cials re­ported that, af­ter two hours of ques­tion­ing, Lai re­mained de­ci­sive in his po­si­tion that the en­tire is­sue is a po­lit­i­cal prob­lem, and that he vowed to be held accountable by his sup­port­ers.

Of­fi­cials said they were main­tain­ing a low-pro­file in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as they were con­cerned the case would end up be­com­ing a po­lit­i­cal is­sue.

The next stages of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions will in­clude re­view­ing the case too de­cide whether it breached the Con­sti­tu­tion or statu­tory law, Con­trol Yuan of­fi­cials said. “We haven’t got­ten to the point of dis­cussing pos­si­ble im­peach­ment of Lai yet.”

Lai also pe­ti­tioned to the Con­trol Yuan dur­ing in­quiries to look into the abun­dant “black-gold” pol­i­tics sit­u­a­tion within the lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

Con­trol Yuan of­fi­cials replied to Lai’s de­mands, say­ing they had to de­fine “black-gold” first, and said that the pos­si­bil­ity of in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­pends on the num­ber of cases of­fi­cials have.

Dis­re­gard of the Con­sti­tu­tion:

Lee

Lee re­but­ted Lai’s state­ment on the Con­trol Yuan hav­ing no grounds to in­ter­vene as the sit­u­a­tion is a po­lit­i­cal prob­lem, and he ex­pressed hav­ing a heavy heart tdue to Lai’s “child­ish tantrums” yes­ter­day.

The KMT coun­cilor stated that while he could deal with Lai’s re­fusal to re­fer to him as the coun­cil speaker, he could not ac­cept Lai’s bla­tant dis­re­gard of the Con­sti­tu­tion, for as­sum­ing he could sub­sti­tute coun­cil at­ten­dance with town­ship meet­ings.

Af­ter at­tend­ing in­quiries with the Con­trol Yuan, Lai held a press con­fer­ence in Tainan and ac­cused the KMT speaker of be­ing im­pen­i­tent and lack­ing moral judg­ment.

Lai stated that he re­mained “re­spect­ful of the sys­tem,” de­spite his dis­ap­proval of the Con­trol Yuan’s ac­tions.

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