Fri, Oct 28, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Marketing company upsets Ko

‘BROKEN A PROMISE’:An internal power struggle at Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co has left the firm without a president, angering the Taipei mayor

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday listens to a briefing about a long-term care program at the Lanzhou housing complex in Taipei’s Datong District.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday called on the directors of Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co to promptly elect a new president to prevent damage to the firm’s reputation amid soaring produce prices.

Ko made the comment in response to reporters’ queries when inspecting a long-term care program the Taipei Department of Health has implemented at the Lanzhou housing complex in Datong District (大同).

Asked to clarify a remark he made on Wednesday about the firm having “broken a promise,” Ko said that directors from different backgrounds should put aside their differences and end the infighting that has delayed the election of a new president.

“The company was established to ensure that consumers could buy high-quality produce at reasonable prices. With vegetable prices rising nationwide, [the directors] should waste no time in electing a new president and general manager,” Ko said, adding that he was “very upset” that the company failed to elect a new president on Wednesday.

“I own the company’s premises. I signed you up to run the company on the city government’s behalf, not to engage in an internal power play,” he said.

The firm elected three new directors on Wednesday, but failed to elect a new president, with the Taipei City Government, the Council of Agriculture and the “Chang faction” each securing one seat on the board.

The Chang faction refers to board members affiliated with former Yunlin County commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), who has strong ties with farmers’ associations in central Taiwan that provide produce for the company.

The company’s funding comes from a mix of public and private sources, with the Taipei City Government and the Council of Agriculture together contributing 45.5 percent and the Taiwan Provincial Fruit Marketing Cooperative, farmers’ associations and vegetable growers providing the rest.

As the president, who chairs the board meetings, nominates the firm’s general manager, who directly oversees the company’s operations, Ko and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had reportedly engineered a plan to remove general manager Hau Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) by helping director Lin Chiu-hui (林秋慧) get elected president.

However, as Ko and the DPP only secured two seats on the seven-member board in Wednesday’s election, Lin’s chances of being elected president are now uncertain.

Asked to respond to Lin’s comment that said if she were elected president, she would not nominate a new general manager and would let Han complete his term, Ko said that it was Lin’s personal opinion.

“My one demand is that the company settle its staffing issues as soon as possible. Do not allow internal politics to affect people’s livelihoods,” Ko said.

Ko said that he would meet with Council of Agriculture Minister Tsao Chi-hung (曹啟鴻) to discuss their strategy regarding the company.

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