Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

NPP demands local hopefuls resign as lawmakers

WASTEFUL SPENDING:When legislators stay in their job until they win local office, separate by-elections need to be held to fill the seats, wasting taxpayer money, the NPP said

By Peng Wan-hsin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao speaks during a radio interview with Hit FM in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Legislators should be required to resign before joining local mayoral or county commissioner elections, so that by-elections to fill their seat can be held in tandem with elections of mayors and commissioners, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and legislature watchdogs said yesterday.

Doing so would help to commit legislators to their jobs and cut government spending on elections, Huang told a news conference in Taipei, adding he could not believe that legislators running for local office could do so and still focus on their work.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) — the two largest political parties — have both proposed such rules, but both have backpedaled whenever one of their legislators announced a bid for local office, Huang said.

That not only puts off some voters and negatively affects voter turnout, but by-elections also drive up government spending, he said, adding tackling the issue would set a positive example for Taiwanese politics.

Lawmakers running for mayor or a commissioner seat should not use the stipend that they are granted to pay their assistants on election campaigns, which might constitute misappropriation of taxpayers’ money, Citizens’ Congress Watch executive director Chang Hung-lin (張宏林) said.

In related news, DPP Taipei City Councilor Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) on Thursday called on the party’s Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) to resign from his legislative seat as a show of his determination to win the mayoral race.

Kao’s move came after Yao urged her to take initiative and leave the DPP, as she appears to support independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) re-election bid.

Yao has said that he would quit politics if he finishes last in the mayoral election and yesterday during a radio interview vowed that he would “quit politics for good if I lose.”

He said he is open to any discussion related to the nine-in-one elections, but the DPP selected him as its Taipei candidate and it is not for him to decide whether to resign as a lawmaker.

If the DPP’s management would decide to ask all legislators running for local office to resign, he would readily comply, Yao said.

Yao has been trailing in opinion polls, but he said that the Taipei mayoral election is “a battle of no retreat.”

“It is unnecessary to speculate that I would cling on to my career. If I lose, I will quit politics for good,” he said.

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