The mayoral election campaign in Taichung centered on allegations of abuse of power and problems with air pollution in its closing days, as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) accused the mayor of overstepping the boundary between government and politicking.
Tsai said his campaign team had received complaints from borough wardens and neighborhood wardens that they had received an administrative order from the city government to bring a quota of local residents to tonight’s campaign event for Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
“This is typical of Lu violating election regulations, and it is underhanded to apply political pressure to bolster attendance at her event. It is contrary to her claim of running a clean campaign, while she and her camp engage in illegitimate ploys to deny our campaigning activities,” Tsai said on Wednesday.
“My campaign team has encountered many obstacles from the city government. Several prominent figures who set up support groups were harassed to not back me,” Tsai said, adding that Lu’s officials monitored companies he had contracted to work on his campaign.
The borough and neighborhood wardens told Tsai’s campaign that they objected to the order, and that local residents should not be pressured to attend political rallies or endorse candidates, Tsai said.
The city government said in a statement that the wardens seem to have misunderstood communication from officials, and there was no such administrative order.
“The Taichung City Government always has maintained neutrality in local election campaigns. We did not issue an order to require wardens to bring residents to the election rally on Friday night. We ask those persons not to disseminate such erroneous information, as doing so breaches election statues,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Tsai and his staff addressed Taichung’s air pollution by posting photographs of the city enveloped in smog, which they said were taken over the weekend and on other recent days.
Lu has reneged on her election promise from four years ago to improve the air quality, Tsai said, adding that Lu criticized then-Taichung mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) of the DPP over the issue.
“With Lu in charge, Taichung’s air will be as clean as that in Guguan (谷關),” Lu said during her campaign at the time, referring to a mountain resort destination.
Tsai said his eyes were sore while campaigning in Taichung’s streets.
Lu said in response that Taichung’s air quality has improved during her term and that city data do not support the claim.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her