Lin Chih-chien (林智堅), the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate for Taoyuan mayor, yesterday announced his withdrawal from the race after National Taiwan University (NTU) on Tuesday revoked his master’s degree over charges of plagiarism.
DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) is to run in his place.
The DPP’s Election Strategy Committee earlier yesterday convened an emergency meeting to discuss the election in November as controversy over the plagiarism charges continued, after which it held a news conference to confirm Lin’s withdrawal.
Photo: Liu Hsin-te, Taipei Times
Lin, a former Hsinchu mayor, made the decision after the university revoked his master’s degree on the recommendation of its academic ethics committee, which found that he had plagiarized the thesis of another graduate student, Yu Cheng-huang (余正煌).
At the news conference, Lin apologized for causing “social turmoil and anxiety” over the past few weeks, saying he would not like to see his “insufficient efforts and writing flaws” affect NTU and sow discord in society.
Public attacks over a personal issue have taken over space for discussing public issues, which is unfair to Taoyuan residents, as their needs have been ignored, he said.
The political achievements of Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) have been overlooked, because of the dispute over his thesis, he said, adding that he “would hate to see Taiwan stop moving forward” because of him.
He thanked President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Cheng Wen-tsan and DPP committee members for their understanding, and apologized to his supporters for letting them down, calling on them to support Cheng Yun-peng in the election.
Although he has dropped out of the race, Lin vowed to prove his innocence by seeking legal relief.
DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) said the president, who is the DPP chairperson, expressed regret over Lin’s withdrawal and believes that he is innocent.
DPP committee members support Lin Chih-chien’s decision to fight for his innocence and would “quickly regroup and steer the election back to its path,” he said.
The members all agreed that Cheng Yun-peng, who was Lin Chih-chien’s campaign manager, could continue Cheng Wen-tsan’s good work and join the campaign immediately, as he is one of the most experienced legislators and understands Taoyuan well, he said.
Cheng Yun-peng said that the nomination “is an honor, but also a responsibility.”
During the time he worked on Lin Chih-chien’s campaign, he realized that Taiwan should take on more responsibility in today’s world so that Taoyuan and Hsinchu could move forward together, he said.
Legislators from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party called on Tsai to “come forward” and apologize for the scandal.
Additional reporting by Chung Li-hua
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