Taipei Deputy Mayor Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) yesterday announced that he was resigning from his post to dedicate his efforts to the year-end Taipei mayoral election in spite of Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) attempts to persuade him to stay.
"I didn't want to use city government resources and office hours to campaign for the election, but my grassroots supporters took this as a sign that I didn't take the election seriously," Yeh said yesterday at a press conference in Taipei City Hall.
"To give myself more time and space, I have decided to dedicate my full efforts to the mayoral election," he said.
Ma's municipal policies deserve a successor who shares the same beliefs and principles and possesses the necessary experience to carry them out, Yeh said, adding that he would take on the responsibility and make an all-out attempt to win the mayoral post.
Yeh also apologized to Ma for any personnel problem caused by his departure about eight months before his term ends in December.
"But what I want is Mayor Ma's current position, a four or eight-year municipal service job, instead of being a deputy mayor for the next six months," he said.
Asked about his lagging support in recent public opinion polls, Yeh said that he was not worried about the surveys but that he would work to catch up.
Ma yesterday expressed surprise at Yeh's decision, and said the move was unnecessary.
"I don't think it's necessary. I really need his help right now, and he has shared a great deal of responsibility with me for the past year," Ma said.
The mayor described Yeh's resignation as a "big problem" for him, and insisted he would persuade the deputy mayor to reconsider his decision.
Yeh had already submitted a letter of resignation to Ma late yesterday afternoon and recommended city government secretary-general Chen Yu-chang (陳裕璋) as a replacement. Ma refused to comment further on the matter.
Yeh will first have to win the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) primary on May 27 to be able to represent the party in the mayoral election.
Another KMT Taipei mayoral hopeful, Hau Lung-bin (
"Yeh is an excellent deputy mayor. His departure is a loss for both Taipei residents and Mayor Ma," Hau said.
KMT Legislator and mayoral hopeful Alex Tsai (
Tsai had asked Yeh to resign out of concern that he might use the city government's resources to help his mayoral bid.