Hsieh declines request to return as acting mayor

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Jan 25, 2006 - Page 3

Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Pasuya Yao (姚文智) yesterday spoke on behalf of outgoing Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) for the last time and declined Kaohsiung City councilors' proposal that premier-designate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) assign Hsieh as acting Kaohsiung mayor.

"First of all, we would like to express our appreciation to Kaohsiung City Council for supporting Hsieh so much, no matter whether from the pan-blue camp or the pan-green camp. I think this is the best reflection of his [Hsieh's] achievements during his terms as mayor," Yao said. "But, the premier supports current acting mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) because she has done a very good job in Kaohsiung."

Yao spoke for Hsieh at his own farewell party at the GIO yesterday afternoon. He was responding to questions regarding a story in the Chinese-language United Evening Express newspaper that said Kaohsiung City Council had requested that Hsieh be assigned the city's new acting mayor.

The proposal was supported by both pan-blue and pan-green councilors.

Hsieh stepped down as Kaohsiung mayor last year when he was appointed premier.

Yao said that Hsieh would affirm Yeh's ability and her determination to serve the people of Kaohsiung and would continue to support her.

Regarding his own plans, Yao said he will first complete a book about his experience in Kaohsiung, where he previously worked as a top Hsieh aide, and then will begin to think about his next step.

However, Yao also implied many times that he would run in the Kaohsiung City mayor election this year or in the next legislative elections.

"I think it is not necessary for a politician to immediately move on to another position when he is leaving the previous one," Yao said.

At the start of yesterday's farewell party, the GIO showed a home-made video telling the story of Yao's life to the press and GIO employees.