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New Taipei Mayor Hou takes leave to focus on presidential campaign

09/23/2023 10:35 PM
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New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih. CNA file photo
New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih. CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) presidential nominee, went on leave starting Saturday and will be absent from his mayoral post until year end to focus on his campaign, according to the New Taipei City Government.

New Taipei's Deputy Mayor Liu Ho-jan (劉和然) will serve as acting mayor during Hou's absence, a source in the city government with knowledge of the matter told CNA.

A KMT legislative candidate, who asked not to be identified, welcomed the move, noting that Hou had been much less active on the campaign trail compared with his rivals - Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of the Taiwan People's Party, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), an independent.

KMT legislative candidates need Hou to be "out and about" so they can campaign alongside him and boost their publicity before voters go to the polls on January 13, the candidate said.

Lin Cheng-yi (林正壹), head of the New Taipei City Personnel Department, said mayors can roll their unused annual leave days over to the next year until the end of their term in office and have seven days of paid leave each year.

Noting that Hou has unused leave days dating back to 2021, Lin said the mayor can take 77 days off in the remainder of this year.

(By Kao Hua-chien, Sunrise Huang, and Sean Lin)


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