Residents of Nantou County yesterday held an advisory referendum and voted in favor of ousting Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪), executive director of the Cabinet's 921 Earthquake Post-Disaster Recovery Commission, for her poor performance in carrying out reconstruction.
Despite the drizzle, about 1,100 Nantou County residents living in the pre-fabricated housing complexes and village communities hardest hit by the 7.3-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 21, 2000, voted in favor of getting rid of Kuo.
Some 70 percent of voters favored the proposal, while about 440 people, or 28 percent, voted against it.
Shih Chin-feng (石進芳), president of the county's reconstruction association, said the association will send copies of the referendum result to the Presidential Office, the Cabinet, the legislature and the Control Yuan for reference.
Pointing out that the referendum is non-binding in nature, Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (
He also said the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants (
Refusing to talk to the media yesterday, Kuo instructed the commission to issue a press release to express her "regret" and "disappointment" over the result, which she painted as a "farce manipulated by a minority of people."
"While the county has a population of 540,000 and about 300,000 eligible voters, only 1,599 people turned up to cast their votes in the referendum," the statement said. "It's nothing but a farce which is not at all reliable because it's not held by any government agency nor representing the voice of the majority of people."
The statement also dismissed a media report insinuating that the commission had attempted to talk residents out of casting their votes.
"We feel very sorry about the false report because executive director Kuo did not talk to that particular media outlet, nor did she ever try to do so," the statement said.
The statement also conveyed Kuo's personal appreciation to those supporting her and the commission's efforts, saying that she is willing to shoulder all the criticism of the government's reconstruction efforts.
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