Fri, Jun 26, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Government vows to explain county upgrade decisions

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said yesterday that the government would soon provide an explanation on why the applications from some of the counties looking for an upgrade to special municipality status were accepted while others were turned down.

Su said an explanation would be forthcoming once the review process had been completed.

It is expected that the result of the Executive Yuan’s deliberations on whether Tainan County and Tainan City can be merged into a special municipality will be made public by next Thursday at the latest.

The Local Government Act (地方制度法) states that the final decision, following the preliminary review by a temporary committee of 10 officials and 15 academics, rests with the Executive Yuan.

The committee unanimously approved the upgrade of Taipei County to a municipality and the merger and upgrade of Kaohsiung County and Kaohsiung City, as well as Taichung County and Taichung City. However, it rejected proposals by Taoyuan County and Changhua County to be upgraded to municipalities and the merger and upgrade application filed by Yunlin County and Chiayi County.

Members of the committee were divided on the merger and upgrade plan for Tainan County and Tainan City.

Su said that the Executive Yuan would not refer the issue to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) before making a final decision as “the review is an internal process within the Executive Yuan.”

He made the comments in response to a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language United Daily News that said the issue would be discussed during Ma’s weekly meeting with Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄), to be held on Tuesday.

In related news, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said the KMT would not be frightened if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nominated DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former premiers Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to stand in the year-end special municipality mayoral elections, as suggested in a “dream candidates list” proposed by the DPP caucus.

KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who is alleged to be eyeing the Taipei County commissioner seat, said the KMT would be fully prepared whether Tsai were to enter the Taipei City or Taipei County races or not.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG

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