Gov’t rails at Lai’s spat with council

By Stephanie Chao ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Tainan Mayor William Lai’s (���M�w) continual refusal to attend the municipality’s council meetings saw new developments yesterday, as the Control Yuan (�ʹ��|) called for inquiry meetings with Lai, citing the mayor’s clash with his council as a ��system problem.�� For the past several months, Lai has boycotted council meetings due to vote-buying allegations against Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (������). The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) accused the Kuomintang (KMT) of paying off DPP councilors to back KMT member Lee in the city councilor elections and spokesman vote last year.

While Lai was backed up by DPP presidential hopeful Tsai Ing-wen (���^��), who expressed ��respect�� toward Lai’s decision to stand up against vote-buying, Lai accepted inquiries later yesterday with Control Yuan officials in Taipei City.

A Political Problem: Lai Officials reported that, after two hours of questioning, Lai remained decisive in his position that the entire issue is a political problem, and that he vowed to be held accountable by his supporters.

Officials said they were maintaining a low-profile investigation, as they were concerned the case would end up becoming a political issue.

The next stages of the investigations will include reviewing the case too decide whether it breached the Constitution or statutory law, Control Yuan officials said. ��We haven’t gotten to the point of discussing possible impeachment of Lai yet.��

Lai also petitioned to the Control Yuan during inquiries to look into the abundant ��black-gold�� politics situation within the local governments.

Control Yuan officials replied to Lai’s demands, saying they had to define ��black-gold�� first, and said that the possibility of investigation depends on the number of cases officials have.

Disregard of the Constitution: Lee Lee rebutted Lai’s statement on the Control Yuan having no grounds to intervene as the situation is a political problem, and he expressed having a heavy heart tdue to Lai’s ��childish tantrums�� yesterday.

The KMT councilor stated that while he could deal with Lai’s refusal to refer to him as the council speaker, he could not accept Lai’s blatant disregard of the Constitution, for assuming he could substitute council attendance with township meetings.

After attending inquiries with the Control Yuan, Lai held a press conference in Tainan and accused the KMT speaker of being impenitent and lacking moral judgment.

Lai stated that he remained ��respectful of the system,�� despite his disapproval of the Control Yuan’s actions.