Tainan mayor con­tin­ues boy­cott of coun­cil meet­ings


Tainan City Mayor Wil­liam Lai ( ) blasted the Con­trol Yuan over its de­ci­sion to im­peach him yesterday and vowed to con­tinue avoid­ing city coun­cil ses­sions. As of to­day, Lai has gone 210 days with­out en­ter­ing the coun­cil cham­ber.

Speak­ing de­fi­antly at a press con­fer­ence fol­low­ing the watchdog agency’s de­ci­sion, Lai ac­cused the Con­trol Yuan of vi­o­lat­ing the na­tion’s Con­sti­tu­tion and be­ing sub­jec­tive with its se­lec­tion of cases. He said that the Con­trol Yuan should in­ves­ti­gate cases such as the re­cent color dust ex­plo­sion in New Taipei, al­le­ga­tions of vote buy­ing by Tainan City Coun­cil Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao or the Dapu case in­volv­ing for­mer Miaoli County Com­mis­sioner Liu Chenghung in­stead of hound­ing him.

The mayor said that the “se­lec­tive­ness” of the Con­trol Yuan in pur­su­ing his im­peach­ment was a breach of demo­cratic prin­ci­ples. In a state­ment later re­leased on his of­fi­cial Face­book page, Lai also de­manded the agency pro­vide an ex­pla­na­tion for why it had not pur­sued im­peach­ment of of­fi­cials with re­gard to the cur­rent cur­ricu­lum guide­line de­bates.

“The real harm to democ­racy is vote buy­ing,” Lai stated. The mayor went on to de­tail the charges brought against coun­cil Speaker Lee, and those in­volv­ing Lee’s for­mer cam­paign man­ager who was re­cently sen­tenced to five years for vote buy­ing charges. He also ac­cused the Con­trol Yuan of over­step­ping its Con­sti­tu­tional ju­ris­dic­tion, and that po­lit­i­cal dis­putes in lo­cal gov­ern­ments are to be re­solved by lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tive in­sti­tu­tions them­selves.

The DPP is­sued a state­ment crit­i­ciz­ing the le­git­i­macy of the agency, say­ing that the prob­lem was po­lit­i­cal and not a le­gal is­sue. In ad­di­tion cit­ing two failed at­tempts to im­peach for­mer Keelung mayor Chang Tung-yung as rea­sons for the Con­trol Yuan’s lack of public le­git­i­macy, the party also called for ju­di­cial ac­tion to be taken against Speaker Lee. Kaoh­si­ung City Mayor Chen Chu also ral­lied be­hind Lai, stat­ing that the Con­trol Yuan had made the is­sue even more con­tentious by mak­ing it into a po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated de­ci­sion.

Lai, a mem­ber of the op­po­si­tion DPP was re­elected last year with over 70 per­cent of to­tal votes, has re­fused to en­ter the city coun­cil un­til al­le­ga­tions of vote buy­ing against city coun­cil speaker Lee of the KMT are re­solved ju­di­cially. The DPP cur­rently holds a ra­zor­thin ma­jor­ity in the 57 mem­ber coun­cil, with 29 seats.

He promised to “in­sist on re­form and pro­tect Tai­wan” and not to “den­i­grate his honor” by ap­pear­ing in the city coun­cil with Lee present.


Tainan Mayor Wil­liam Lai speaks to the press yesterday af­ter his im­peach­ment by the Con­trol Yuan. Lai ac­cused the gov­ern­ment watchdog agency of vi­o­lat­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, interfering in lo­cal gov­ern­ment af­fairs and said there were po­lit­i­cal mo­tives in not seek­ing im­peach­ment of other of­fi­cials. Lai, who was im­peached for fail­ing to at­tend city coun­cil meet­ings, re­fuses to en­ter the coun­cil due to vote-buy­ing al­le­ga­tions lev­eled against its coun­cil speaker.

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