By Amy Chyan ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Kaohsiung’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) city councilors challenged prosecutors yesterday during the city council speaker and deputy city council speaker election by openly displaying their marked voting ballots to the entire audience when casting their votes.
All 38 DPP councilors followed the voting procedure by waving their hands in the air to signify that they did not spoil their ballots. Prosecutors present captured video footage of the city councilors’ forbidden actions as evidence. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ, �k�ȳ�) emphasized that displaying a voting ballot constitutes a criminal offense that is punishable by law.
Prior to the election day, the 38 DPP councilors were asked to sign a pact stating that they would display their voting ballot to ensure that councilors voted for members of their own party. If not in compliance with the agreement, city councilors risked having their DPP party membership revoked. Four-term City Councilor Kang Yu-Cheng (�d�Φ�) became Kaohsiung City’s first female speaker with 39 votes.
Issue Hits Taichungv City councilors in Taichung initially refused to allow media into the room to capture photo and video content. However, prosecutors on site notified the councilors that the speaker and deputy speaker election is a public forum and media access cannot be denied. As a gesture of compromise, Taichung city councilors manually rotated the voting booth 180 degrees and progressed with voting in secrecy.
New Taipei City Draws Winner New Taipei City’s council speaker election endured two rounds of voting before drawing for the winner. At a tie of 33 votes for both the DPP and KMT candidates, the New Taipei City Council decided to draw for the winner, a first for the city. The position was won by Kuomintang (KMT) City Councilor Chiang Ken-huang (���ڷ�). Chiang said that lady luck was on his side and that he knew the election race would end up with a draw. Chiang said he wanted to thank everyone for their help and hopes that future city matters can be discussed with fair negotiations. The deputy city councilor speaker position went to DPP City Councilor Chen Wen-zhi (�����v). DPP city councilors requested that voting to be done in secrecy, however, they settled for public voting procedures. The start of the voting time was stalled from 9:30 a.m to noon. KMT City Council Secretary Chou Sheng-kao (�P�Ӧ�) said that the KMT partnership with independent city councilors was a strategy that would give them a chance at drawing for the speaker seat. New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (���߭�) has not commented on election results, though he congratulated the city speaker-elect after results were released.
Six Consecutive Terms for Taipei City Speaker In a close race with the DPP, KMT incumbent speaker Wu Bi-chu (�d�ѯ]) won the Taipei City speaker position in the second round of voting with 32 votes. The first round of voting saw 31 votes for both the DPP and KMT. A spoiled ballot from a KMT councilor called for a second round of voting. Wu will be serving in her sixth term as Taipei’s city council speaker.