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.