Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) expressed strong opposition yesterday to the National Police Agency’s (NPA) appointment of a new director to head his county’s police bureau.
Chou said that according to precedent, agency Director-General Hou Yu-ih should submit the names of three candidates to the county commissioner, who would then choose one and pass the name to the central government to announce the appointment.
However, Chou said that Hou had shown him no respect by naming only one candidate — outgoing Changhua County Police Bureau Chief Lin Kuo-tung — last month.
After deadlock of almost two months caused by Chou’s refusal to endorse Lin’s nomination, the NPA announced Lin’s appointment on Wednesday and asked Chou to preside over Lin’s inauguration.
Chou not only refused to attend the ceremony but vowed that he will not recognize Lin as the head of his county’s police bureau. He also said he will not allow Lin to attend the county government’s meetings.
He said that these moves are not targeted at Lin but are a protest against the central government’s failure to respect the local government in naming the police chief.
Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang denied that the NPA’s selection of only one candidate was due to his pressure. He said that when the Law on Local Government Systems was amended last year, the legislature overturned a resolution that would have allowed each local government head to choose his or her local police chief.