Back to list

Kaohsiung mayor urged to step down over napping controversy

2010/09/29 18:36:06

Taipei, Sept. 29 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) politicians demandedWednesday that Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu step down for failing in herduty after Chen admitted a day earlier that she took a nap at herresidence as Typhoon Fanapi struck the port city Sunday afternoon.

Again raising the issue during a Kaohsiung City Councilinterpellation session, KMT councilors said Chen -- a DemocraticProgressive Party (DPP) member -- was unfit to be mayor because sheallowed the typhoon emergency operation to grind to a halt.

Councilor Wang Ling-chiao pointed out that former Premier LiuChao-shiuan, who had a haircut during Typhoon Morakot last year, andformer Executive Yuan Secretary-General Hsieh Hsiang-chuan, whoattended a Father's Day dinner during the typhoon, were bothreplaced. The same standard should apply in Chen's case, Wang said.

In response to the criticism, Chen said she felt very sorry forfailing to share in the people's suffering.

Chen said that her most important task at present was dealingwith the aftermath of the serious flooding caused by the typhoon, andthat prosecutors were investigating legal responsibilities related tothe disaster.

"If residents are not satisfied with my performance or the citygovernment, they will show it in the year-end election, " Chen said,brushing aside the call for her to resign to take responsibility forthe incident.

The mayor later told reporters that she returned to her residenceSunday afternoon mainly to change her wet clothes. Chen stressed thatshe was keeping close watch of the typhoon situation, even though sheused the time for a short break.

KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun, who is running against Chen inthe Nov. 27 Kaohsiung mayoral election, suggested that the ControlYuan initiate a probe into Chen's actions for alleged dereliction ofduty.

Lending her support to Chen, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen praisedthe Kaohsiung City government for its efficiency in dealing with theaftermath of the typhoon, and called on the public to look at Chen'scase from a "humane" point of view.

Tsai, who is running for the Xinbei mayorship, argued that it wasimproper to compare Chen's case to that of the former premier. While"people become tired" naturally after a certain amount of time, it isa matter of choice when it comes to the issue of when to have ahaircut, she said.

However, Eric Liluan Chu, the KMT's candidate for the Xinbeimayorship, said Chen should have at least assigned a deputy mayor totake command of the typhoon emergency operation center in herabsence.

"The Kaohsiung City government needs to give some explanation onthis point," Chu said.

(By Chang Che-fon, Chou Yung-chieh, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Y.F. Low)