Sat, Aug 08, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Mayors, county chiefs to serve five-year terms

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The terms of mayors and county chiefs to be elected at the end of the year will be extended by a year to five years, according to a consensus reached recently at a Ministry of the Interior meeting.

The ministry convened an ­inter-division meeting to screen an amendment to the Local Government Act (地方制度法) in advance of the election of local public officials to be held at the end of the year.

It was decided at the meeting that the next mayoral and county commissioner terms would be extended to five years so that the next round of local elections could be held in tandem with the election of special municipality chiefs in 2014, an official who declined to be named said.

“The term extension is aimed at simplifying the election process and saving money,” the official said.

A ministry ad hoc panel in June approved the upgrading of Taipei County and the merger of Taichung City and County, Kaohsiung City and County and Tainan City and County into special municipalities.

If the ministry’s draft amendment on the overhauled local elections clears the legislative floor, the next mayoral and county chief elections, as well as the elections of chiefs of five special municipalities — Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung cities — will be held simultaneously in 2014, the official said.

It was also decided at the meeting that district administrative consultant committees would be established in the new special municipalities to allow local elected representatives who are poised to lose their jobs after the upgrade and mergers access to public office work.

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