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KMT chief to donate wages for 3-month leave to New Taipei coffers

2015/10/19 14:11:28

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu

Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) After announcing his decision to take leave from his duties as New Taipei mayor, Eric Chu (朱立倫) has also said that he will not receive wages from the city during his three-month leave in pursuit of the presidency and will donate the money to the city treasury, his spokesman said Monday.

Chu earns NT$190,500 (US$5,890) per month in his mayoral position, meaning that during his planned three-month leave, there will a sum of about NT$570,000 to be donated to the city's coffers, New Taipei Information Department Director Lin Chieh-yu (林芥佑) said.

Chu, who doubles as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang, has been nominated by the party as its presidential candidate. Earlier in the day, he announced that he will take leave from his mayoral duties the following day to focus on his presidential campaign.

The presidential election is slated for Jan. 16, 2016.

Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) will act in his place during his absence, effective Tuesday, Chu said in a city government meeting.

The decision, however, drew protests from several city councilors of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who demanded that Chu should resign at once.

Meanwhile, DPP spokesman Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) blasted Chu for "putting city affairs behind him."

"It is not leave of absence but absence from work without leave," Cheng said, noting that the DPP is sorry that Chu made such a decision.

Chu is now in his second term as New Taipei mayor, which began Jan. 19.

The 54-year old was picked as the KMT's new presidential candidate during a special party congress held Oct. 17. He replaced Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who was confirmed in July as the KMT presidential candidate but was unable to narrow the huge gap between her and her DPP rival Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in public opinion polls.

(By Justin Su, Sofia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu)