NSB preparations underway for presidential candidate protection
The National Security Bureau (NSB, ) chief yesterday said that his bureau is currently training a group of special agents to offer protection to presidential candidates for the election campaign starting next month.
Speaking to reporters, NSB Director-General John Young (
) said that these special agents are currently undergoing intensive training to prepare themselves to offer protection to a maximum of four groups of presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2016 presidential election.
The NSB head said that a total of 55 special agents will be responsible for candidates of each campaign.
In previous presidential campaigns, each campaign only had a maximum of 45 special agents. However, after the 2012 presidential election, relevant laws were amended to expand the scope of security details to cover the safety of a presidential and vice presidential candidate’s spouse during campaigning, he said.
Therefore, the number of security personnel assigned to a presidential candidate has been increased to 55, he added.
Young, however, noted that the bureau did not purchase new equipment for the upcoming presidential election to be held in Jan. 2016.
The bureau is scheduled to hold a ceremony on Nov. 13 to officially mark the conclusion of training for the special agents before they will officially kick off their missions to be responsible for presidential candidates’ personal security starting Nov. 23, he added.
Young made the comments on the sideline of the Legislative Yuan’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee in Taipei before he joined an interpellation session.
Beef Up Security at Double Ten National Day
Fielding questions for the first time under the capacity of the NSB chief to the committee, Young told lawmakers that the NSB will beef up its security during the upcoming Double Ten National Day celebrations as all three presidential candidates are scheduled to show up at the main celebration event to be held in front of the Presidential Office this Saturday.
Opposition lawmaker Tsai Huang- liang said this upcoming event will mark the first time that Tsai Ing-wen ( ), the presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the party’s chair to attend the Double Ten National Day celebrations during President Ma Ying-jeou’s seven years in office. She is joining after receiving an invitation from legislative speaker Wang Jin- pyng ( ) , who served as head of the preparatory committee for the Double Ten celebrations.
Ruling Kuomintang presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (
) and James Soong ( ), the People First Party chairman and presidential candidate, will also attend the event to be presided by President Ma.
Young took office as the nation’s top security official in July, replacing his predecessor Lee Shying-jow ( ), who resigned over health problems.