Control Yuan votes by 7-2 to impeach Lai
The Control Yuan passed a vote to impeach Tainan Mayor William Lai ( ) yesterday, for violating the law by not attending the city’s council meetings.
In the impeachment resolution, The Control Yuan stated that Lai, as mayor of Tainan, has failed to attend council meetings, thereby not fulfilling his duty of answering interpellations. “Setting a bad precedent in local government history for officials not to appear before the local council,” which strongly damages a democratic system, the statement added.
The Control Yuan voted to impeach Lai by a 7-2 margin, sending the case to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission of the Judicial Yuan for a final decision concerning whether Lai will be suspended.
Lai stopped attending council meetings in December last year, due to vote- buying allegations against Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao ( ). Lai stated that he would not accept the “illegal composition of the city council,” and he would not attend council meetings until Lee apologizes to the people, and promises to stop interfering in judicial adjudication.
Lee was elected speaker of Tainan City Council last year, but was later indicted by The Tainan District Prosecutors Office for vote-buying in both the city council and speaker elections. He was taken into custody in February, and was released on an NT$15 million bail in April. Last Friday, several city council members were sentenced in connection to the scandal. As for whether Lee’s election for city council is null and void, due to his filing a motion to disqualify a judge on the case, the case now lies in legal limbo.
In response to Lai’s impeachment, Lee said that “democracy is based on the rule of law, there is no democracy when one violates the law,” stating that actually opposing democracy while preaching it, is a bad example for a democratic society. He also said that “instead of taking pleasure, people should have compassion for those who encounter misfortune,” and expressed his hope that the city council will quickly resume operation.