Sat, Sep 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ko accused of doling out positions at foundation

By Tsai Ya-hua, Chang Kai-hsuang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Taipei city councilors on Tuesday said that the Taipei Culture Foundation’s latest board of directors election had been “opaque” and the nominees lacked qualifications in cultural affairs.

The election packed the board with entrepreneurs and People First Party (PFP) supporters, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) said.

Three-quarters of the directors who represented business interests on the previous board had experience in media or had worked at foundations with a cultural or educational purpose, Hsu said, adding that the majority of the new business-linked directors have no experience in fields related to culture.

Nieh Yung-chen (聶永真), the graphic artist who designed President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign logo for last year’s presidential election, was chosen as one of the directors to represent the concerns of art and culture professionals, Hsu said.

The political makeup of the board reflects the fact that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is doling out board positions to reward potential supporters of his re-election bid for next year, she said.

Foundation deputy director Chang Yi-san (張益贍), formerly a paid consultant of the city government, was responsible for arranging potential supporters that could be listed as candidates for the board election, Hsu said.

Taipei Cultural Affairs Department official Liu Te-chien (劉得堅) said the election of the board of directors was a routine affair and the turnover was the result of directors leaving.

Candidates to fill vacancies were recommended by many parties and the mayor has approved them, Liu said, adding that announcements would be made at a later date.

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