Wed, Jul 17, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT Nominates Han: Action urged for ditching office

SIGNATURE THRESHOLD:A proposal to discourage public officials from chasing other positions involves demanding that those who do return an election subsidy

By Huang Hsin-po, Ko Yu-hao and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party Kaohsiung City councilors hold a news conference in Kaohsiung yesterday to demand that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu resign his post.

Photo: Ko You-hao, Taipei Times

Five proposals calling for measures to discourage holders of public office from running for other positions have been submitted to the National Development Council’s online public policy participation platform over the past two months.

A proposal launched on May 26 calls for legal amendments to require political parties and their nominees to shoulder the costs of holding by-elections to fill the seats they would be vacating if they are elected for another public office.

The motion had been seconded by 5,000 people as of Sunday, requiring the Ministry of the Interior to issue a response before Sept. 14.

Department of Civil Affairs Deputy Director Cheng Ying-hung (鄭英弘) yesterday said the ministry would respond in line with the platform’s regulations.

Although the ministry is responsible for the issues mentioned in the proposal, it would discuss the matter with the Central Election Commission, which handles electoral affairs, he said.

Two other proposals have yet to reach the threshold to necessitate an official response.

One of them, launched on July 1, proposes requiring public office holders campaigning for other positions to return an election subsidy of NT$30 per vote that they received after their original victory.

Another, initiated on Thursday last week, proposes combining local and general elections.

Two other proposals, made on June 16 and June 28, did not advance into the signature collection stage due to their similarity to the May 26 proposal.

Separately, the Kaohsiung City Council’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday held a news conference demanding that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) step down after winning the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential primary on Monday.

DPP Kaohsiung City Councilor Lin Chih-hung (林智鴻) questioned whether Han can attend to his mayoral and campaign duties, as Han said in an interview that he would try to campaign for president while still in office.

Lin urged Han not to treat Kaohsiung like a “backup,” adding that the mayor would “definitely be distracted.”

Lin also said that he would give away banana pancakes to 500 Kaohsiung residents if Han does not take any days off from his mayoral duties to campaign for the presidential election on Jan. 11 next year.

Responding to media queries, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would also be running for re-election while still in office.

If there is to be a standard, it should apply to all candidates, he said.

Additional reporting by Kuo An-chia

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