Fri, Oct 10, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Chu loses post as speaker in Kaohsiung City council

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Executive Yuan yesterday approved Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chu An-hsiung's (朱安雄) dismissal as speaker and city councilor after he was convicted of vote-buying in last December's local elections.

"According to Article 79 of the Law on Local Government Systems (地方制度法), Chu lost his position as a Kaohsiung City councilor on Sept. 25, when the Supreme Court upheld a verdict by the Taiwan High Court, which sentenced him to 22 months in prison," Cabinet Secretary-General Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said yesterday.

Liu said that Premier Yu Shyi-kun signed the document on Wednesday and sent it to the city council yesterday.

"Now it's up to the council to decide whether to let Deputy Speaker Tsai Song-hsiung (蔡松雄) continue to serve as the acting speaker or elect a new one," Liu said.

Tsai himself was sentenced to two years in jail and deprived of civil rights for four years for helping Chu buy the votes of other councilors in his election to the council's speaker.

Chu has admitted to buying votes in the speakership election and will be sentenced in this case next month.

Of the 44 members of the council, 34 were indicted in the speakership scandal and 18 have already been sentenced.

Liu said that he expected the city council to keep Tsai as its speaker.

"I've learned that many councilors kind of hesitate to elect a new speaker. No matter what they decide to do, we'll totally respect their decision," Liu said.

According to the District Legislature Law (地方立法機關組織準則), the city council must report to the Executive Yuan, which directly supervises the two special municipalities of Taipei and Kaohsiung cities, in order to revoke a councilor's or the council speaker's or vice speaker's position.

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