Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) must explain to his city’s residents his decision to take three months off to campaign for president when he has only been in office for less than a year, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said yesterday.
Han is the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate.
Kolas made the remark at a news conference in Taipei in response to media queries on whether the Executive Yuan had received Han’s request to take a leave of absence.
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics received the request on Tuesday, she said, adding that the mayor was to take a leave of absence from Wednesday to Jan. 10.
However, she said that the document delivered by the Kaohsiung City Government was not a request, but simply a notification, as it does not require the Executive Yuan’s approval.
Asked if there had been any mayor or commissioner who had taken a leave of absence of such length to run for higher office, Kolas said that no local government official had ever taken leave to campaign after less than a year in office.
Han would have to explain his decision to the Kaohsiung residents who voted for him in last year’s election, she said.
Asked about Han’s suggestion that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should also take time off to campaign — to make the election “fair” — Kolas said that she could not see the connection between the two issues.
The president has chosen to continue doing her job, attending to national affairs, she said.
Every candidate must answer to their voters, she added.
Presidential Office spokesman Ting Yun-kung (丁允恭) on Tuesday said that the president would not ask for a long period of leave as issues of importance to the public require her attention.
There is also no legal procedure allowing for presidential leave and the KMT must be aware of that, Ting said.
When running for re-election, the president would strictly follow administrative procedures and cover her own campaign costs when required, he added.
Additional reporting by staff writer
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up