Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) yesterday called on Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to resign as speaker of the Tainan City Council and urged lawmakers to close a legal loophole that might allow Lee to run in a by-election for his seat on the council.
In accordance with the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), Lee, who on Friday was sentenced to a four-year prison term by the Tainan District Court for vote-buying in the city council’s speakership election on Dec. 25, 2014, was suspended from his position as speaker.
Lee was also found guilty on Jan. 21 this year of buying votes in November 2014 during his campaign for city councilor.
The ruling invalidated his electoral victory, but Lee still holds a seat representing the city’s Yuching District (玉井), because he appealed the ruling.
The Tainan City Government said that since Friday it has received many telephone calls from angry residents complaining that Lee is still receiving a monthly salary of about NT$370,000 as well as other subsidies and allowances, because he still has a seat on the council.
Lee yesterday said that he is considering running in a by-election, but has not made a decision yet, after reports surfaced that he would resign before the second ruling on that case to take advantage of a legal loophole.
If the court upholds the guilty verdict in the second ruling, Lee would lose his seat due to the nullification of the council election results, and he would also then not be qualified to run in a by-election.
Therefore, to avoid the ruling going against him and losing everything, some political analysts have speculated that Lee might soon resign from the council and run in a by-election for a councilor seat, so that he can continue to influence the council.
In response to media requests for comment, Lai yesterday asked lawmakers to address the issue.
“It goes against all sense for Lee to be allowed to do this. He can still survive in politics by resigning before the second ruling, then go on to win a seat in a by-election. Lawmakers must amend the election laws to close the loophole,” said Lai, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Lai called on the court to expedite the process and make a second ruling on Lee’s case, so that the issue might be resolved quickly.
After yesterday’s ruling, Tainan City Council Deputy Speaker Kuo Hsin-liang (郭信良) of the DPP is to be the council’s acting speaker.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of