Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taipei deputy mayor resigns

BAD RUN:Chou Li-fang reportedly fell out of favor with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, leading to her removal from the Universiade organizing committee in July last year

By Kuo An-chia and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taipei City Deputy Mayor Chou Li-fang (周麗芳) submitted her resignation, to take effect before Feb. 2, Taipei City Government spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said yesterday.

Chou on Tuesday tendered her resignation to Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), citing her desire to “resume academic research” at the National Chengchi University, which Ko approved, Lin said.

“The mayor expresses his gratitude for the deputy mayor’s hard work during the past year, especially her efforts in directing the Universiade [in summer next year], the city’s flagship soft-power project and promoting city-to-city diplomacy, all of which had met their current policy targets. The mayor respects and honors her request,” Lin said.

However, according to a report by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) last year, Chou’s job had been on the block as early as last month, due to widespread dissatisfaction at her performance from the public and the corridors of power.

Chou’s reputation took a blow when the Chinese-language United Daily News reported that she received the third-lowest performance rating of all municipal officials from a survey of city councilors.

The performance evaluation survey, conducted by Taipei Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, is widely believed to provide a basis for weeding out inept or unpopular members of the municipal government, the report said.

Chou, a public finance professor, joined the municipal government on Feb. 16 last year.

Ko reportedly favored filling the deputy mayor’s post with a woman, which until that time had remained vacant.

Originally, Chou occupied both the position of the deputy mayor as well as the chief executive officer of next year’s Universiade Taipei.

A week after Ko returned from his tour of South Korea in July last year — made in preparation for the Universiade — Chou was removed from the organizing committee.

Last month, rumors surfaced that Ko was considering demand ing Chou’s resignation.

At the time, Ko denied the allegation, while Chou strenuously defended her performance.

The resignation of city government consultant Hung Chih-kun (洪智坤) was also acknowledged yesterday by Lin and Hung’s resignation is expected to take effect no sooner than tomorrow’s presidential and legislative elections.

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