Mon, Jun 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Presidential Office denies public permission to park

By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Citing concerns over potential car bomb attacks, the Presidential Office yesterday said the public squares bordering its compound are to remain closed to public parking.

Blasts from vehicle-borne explosives near the compound might threaten the president’s safety and harm visitors crowding the squares if they are open for use for general parking, it added.

The report was a response to a previous resolution by the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, which questioned the Presidential Office’s policy of allowing some employees to park in the squares, but not the general public.

The Presidential Office then said it would charge employees to park in the squares.

Employees who park in the squares would be charged a non-refundable monthly rate of NT$300, the office said, adding that employees are not assigned specific spaces.

The Presidential Office also said opening the squares to public parking might impede their use by security services during protests and rallies, as they are needed as gathering places for personnel and for parking service vehicles.

If there is a need to clear the zone, those parking in the squares might be ordered to remove their vehicles at a moment’s notice, it said.

The squares are also occasionally used as venues for state events or the activities of non-profit organizations, it added.

On those occasions, the presence of privately owned cars might complicate traffic control, event rehearsal and site security, it said.

The squares are used by the Presidential Office’s staff and volunteers, as well as governmental vehicles belonging to the 221st Military Police Battalion and other governmental agencies near the compound.

Guests invited to see the president or the vice president and tour groups may obtain temporary parking permits.

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