Taipei mayor releases cabinet list to much criticism

Taipei mayor releases cabinet list to much criticism
Newly-elected independent Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je gestures after winning the Taipei mayoral elections in Taipei on November 29, 2014.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taipei Mayor-elect Ko Wen-je yesterday released his second update of cabinet members, affirming the positions of 16 department directors and commissioners to much criticism.

Ko's updated list includes several individuals that have been elected despite opposition from both Ko's internal advisors and from a large number of Taipei City citizens.

However, during a press conference yesterday, the mayor-elect said he hopes that his entire cabinet and city government staff will be able to present a satisfactory result within a hundred days after the entire team takes office.

In response to questions on the still vacant position for third deputy mayor, Ko said that he is still targeting the mainland China CEO of advertising conglomerate "Ogilvy & Mather," Shenan Chuang.

Ko said that Chuang is very likely to join his city government team, as the businesswoman has not yet declined Ko's offer. However, Ko added, as Chuang's responsibilities in China are extremely substantial, the candidate would need at least a month to transfer her job details should she decide to leave the job and take lesser government pay.

The mayor-elect also responded to questions on the large amount of criticism he has received even before assuming office, stating that the objections are a process that everyone has to go through.

Ko also said that success does not come easy, and that persistence with faith will ultimately prove its worth.

Ko's New Executive Officers Criticized

Ko's new list of Taipei City executive officers yesterday confirmed the widespread speculation that Ni Chung-hua is the new commissioner for Taipei's Cultural Affairs Department.

Ni, known locally as the "godfather of live concerts," was the centre of the cultural affairs department election drama, with talks of pre-determined results and other political involvement that helped to elevate his otherwise unqualified status.

After numerous internal protests from his personal municipal advisors and from members of his cultural affairs department commissioner election committee, Ni was indeed named the new commissioner.

During the press conference announcing the new officials, Ni apologised for the inconvenience the drama has caused the general public, and implored the people to cease referring to him as the "godfather of live concerts," as the "godfather" is now about to become a public servant.

Ni also said that he wishes everyone could forget about the tension that transpired during his nomination, and that he is grateful for the recommendations and lessons bestowed upon him from the likes of writers Yen Hung-ya and Neil Peng.

In the future, Ni said, he will build a communications network with fellow cultural enthusiasts to continue to seek advice as the commissioner of the Cultural Affairs Department.

Ko also raised widespread concern after confirming his campaign director Yao Li-ming's spouse Yang Fang-ling as his department of legal affairs commissioner.

In response to media questions, Yang said that she had asked Ko the same question before when Yao had previously said that he would not enter the Taipei City governance team. However, as she and her husband are individuals under law, she has accepted the appointment with her husband's blessing.

The mayor-elect also explained that Yang is the optimal candidate based on her outgoing personality and her professional understanding of the Taiwanese legal system.

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