Mon, Jun 28, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Ma's Taipei City reshuffle imminent

NEW BLOOD City Spokesman Wu Yu-sheng said the process could be more extensive than people think, since several bureau directors have their eye on the elections

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) plans to launch a large-scale personnel reshuffle of the city government before August, as many of the city's bureau directors will soon start campaigning for the December elections of legislators and local county commissioners.

According to City Government Spokesman Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who plans to campaign for a legislative seat in the second constituency of Taipei County, Ma has already met several candidates who are qualified to take over Wu's office as soon as the city spokesman formally engages in the legislative election campaign.

Earlier this month, Wu said that he would resign from his positions as city government spokesman and director of the Department of Information if he is nominated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

"I believe that I have a good chance to be nominated as a legislative candidate by the KMT," Wu told reporters last Wednesday.

"And as far as I know, the city government will complete the reshuffle either in July or August," Wu said.

It is expected that Wu's departure will trigger the personnel reorganization process.

Ma will announce the city government's new lineup before he travels to the US in August in a bid to attract foreign investment to Taipei City, Wu said.

Although he declined to name the potential successors Ma has interviewed, Wu said that the scale of the reshuffle would be larger than people might expect, since a number of his colleagues will also dedicate themselves to their election campaigns.

In addition, Department of Land Administration (地政處) Director Soong Ching-chuan (宋清泉) will retire as part of the reorganization plan, Wu said.

People who have been labeled as "Ma's troops" -- including Bureau of Civil Affairs Director Samuel Wu (吳秀光) and Bureau of Education Director Wu Ching-chi (吳清基) -- will seek nominations to run for the positions of Hualien County commissioner and Tainan County commissioner.

Ma is considering enlisting influential figures who enjoy a high level of popularity or publicity to serve as the bureau chiefs in his new administration, Wu said, adding that the candidates Ma has considered include talented individuals from political, business and academic circles.

Other possible candidates said to have been interviewed by Ma include Stanley Yen (嚴長壽), chairman of the Taiwan Visitors Association and president of the Ritz Taipei Hotel; Yu Tzu-hsiang (游梓翔), former campaign spokesman of the pan-blue alliance; Rose Tsou (鄒開蓮), general manager of Yahoo-Kimo; and Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), a counselor to the city's Economic Development Committee.

Two weeks ago, pan-blue city councilors urged Ma to appoint a candidate for the position of deputy mayor, who could take over from Ma in future.

They suggested former Environmental Protection Administration chief Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) as possible candidates.

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