While Executive Yuan advisor Chiang Chun-Shin (江淳信) and others have suggested that Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) run for election as the next Ilan County commissioner, Ilan residents themselves have mixed feelings about the idea.
Premier Yu Shyi-kun reportedly said that it would be a sacrifice for Chen to run for county commissioner, a position that is much lower than his current role. However, Yu described Chen as a "pioneer in the development of Ilan," and praised his dedication to the county where he served as commissioner from 1981 to 1989.
Ilan County Government Deputy Commissioner Chen Chung-mao (陳忠茂) feels that the commissioner job would be a comedown for the minister.
"Chen Ding-nan is the minister of justice now. It would be condescending for him to take the position of Ilan County commissioner," Chen Chung-mao said.
If the minister does decide to run for the position, however, Chen Chung-Mao said that he believed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would fully support him.
Chen Chung-mao also said that since Chen Ding-nan has been out of the commissioner's job for more than a year, it would be legal for him to run for the position again.
Chiang and about 20 local repre-sentatives and leaders in Ilan County reportedly decided to invite Chen Ding-nan to run for the post because they believed his strong leadership, which helped make Ilan a famous tourist destination, will once again make the county prosperous.
Chiang said that since the Taipei-Ilan highway will be opened at the end of this year, it is crucial for Ilan to have an experienced leader who will help bring the county profits with the opening of the highway.
Yiu Chen-kuo (游正國), a local tour guide, praised Chen Ding-nan's contribution to Ilan during his time as commissioner, and said that he would support him if he decides to run again.
According to Yiu, many county residents worry that the lack of a strong leader may damage the county's development and that's why there is a call for Chen Ding-nan to lead the county again.
Wei Mu-shu (魏木樹), a volunteer in Ilan's National Center for Traditional Arts, also welcomed the idea of Chen entering the race.
"As long as it's legal for him to do so, I think it is good news for Ilan residents because Chen has laid out foundations in terms of establishing the county," Wei said.
Wei also noted that Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) is a former minister of foreign affairs and said that job rank should not be an issue when it comes to serving people.
Another volunteer at the center, Lin Sheng-chun (林勝群), was against the idea of the justice minister seeking his old job.
"Chen Ding-nan should give this opportunity to the younger generation of the Democratic Progressive Party, so that they have more chances to develop their leadership ability," Lin said.
According to Chiang, the justice minister expressed his appreciation for people's concern about the future of Ilan. But he declined comment on whether he would try for the commissioner's job.