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.

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