Lo to resign office
Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) confirmed yesterday that he would resign from his post and devote his efforts to the campaign for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election. Lo will head the news media, social networking and youth department at Ma’s presidential campaign office. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) will take over as the Presidential Office spokesman starting today. Lo, one of Ma’s presidential campaign spokesmen during the 2008 presidential campaign, has become a close aide to Ma since he took office. Fan Chiang, who helped Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) win re-election as his campaign spokesman last year, said the new post presented great challenges, but he would make the effort to do his job well.
Military law revised
Taiwan moved a step closer toward the reduced use of the death penalty yesterday as the Legislative Yuan amended the country’s law on military service violations. The legislature passed the third reading of the bill, which amends the Punishment Act for Violation to the Military Service System (妨害兵役治罪條例) by removing capital punishment as an option in Articles 16 and 17. According to the revised articles, those who carry weapons in a group and seriously hurt a person while trying to obstruct individuals from performing their military service will be subject to a maximum life sentence rather than the death penalty. The amendment was passed to protect human rights in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both signed by Taiwan in 2009, the government said.