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May 24, 2017

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Drunk leaders must not be allowed to drive the nation

We have been condemning drunk driving. How about drunk politicking? We've seen a combination of the two in one recent outrageous case where an allegedly drunk mayor forced police to set free a drunk driver.

Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong has seen his party membership suspended by the ruling Kuomintang for three months after prosecutors indicted him on charges of obstructing public duties.

He has apologized to the party for his image-damaging act, but he has denied breaking any law.

The drama took place last month when a woman driver was caught drunk driving. During the ticketing process, the woman resisted and hit a female officer on the face. She was then arrested and taken to the police station.

The driver made a call, and later Chang came to her rescue. The mayor, who apparently had been drinking, showed up at the police station demanding that the woman be released without being charged. In a fit of rage he allegedly pounded his fist on a desk, and threatened to punish all officers involved if his demand was not met.

He got what he wanted, but he did not get away with it. While such influence-peddling drama often ends without the public knowing, Chang's case somehow got the attention of prosecutors, who launched a probe and decided that the Keelung mayor was at fault.

The Keelung mayor recently described himself as a "rascal" after his administration continued to lie at the bottom in surveys of local government performances.

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