The Executive Yuan has selected former Kaohsiung City Government secretary-general Yang Ming-jou (楊明州) as Kaohsiung acting mayor, sources with knowledge of the matter said yesterday.
Yang, an independent, was chosen due to his vast experience in handling municipal affairs and because he was not affiliated with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the sources said.
Yang was acceptable to the pan-blue and pan-green camps, easing tensions in preparation for a Kaohsiung mayoral by-election after Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was recalled on Saturday last week, they said.
Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times
With the typhoon season approaching, Yang has the experience to facilitate rescue and flood relief missions, they said.
His experience in municipal affairs also makes him an ideal acting mayor as the Kaohsiung City Council begins a month-long intensive question-and-answer session on Friday next week, they added.
Yang, who has served in the Kaohsiung City Government for 36 years, started his career as an engineer at the city’s Public Works Bureau, before moving up the ranks to become head of the bureau and later deputy mayor under former Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu (陳菊).
After Han took office on Dec. 25, 2018, Yang was transferred to the post of Kaohsiung City Government secretary-general, before being demoted to his current position as city government counselor.
Asked to comment on the purported appointment, Yang said that a civil servant cannot choose his “battlefield,” and that he would respect his superiors’ decision.
In related developments, DPP Kaohsiung City Councilor Kao Min-lin (高閔琳) on Wednesday said that she would not support DPP Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) becoming acting mayor.
Chen Chi-mai, a popular candidate for the post, would likely join the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election in three months, so it would create a conflict of interest if he was appointed acting mayor, Kao said.
Appointing Chen Chi-mai, who lost to Han in the 2018 Kaohsiung mayoral election, would further aggravate Han’s supporters and give the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) an excuse to deepen rifts in society, she said.
The DPP seems to have arrived at a consensus to back Chen Chi-mai in the by-election, so it should give him time to focus on his campaign rather than taking on a role likely preoccupied with floods, she added.
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