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Ou Chin-der resigns as chairman of the THSR

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan High Speed Rail Co. (THSR) Chairman Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) yesterday tendered his resignation, saying he takes responsibility for glitches in THSR's train service and unwelcomed ticket price hikes.

THSR (台灣高鐵) spokesman Ted Chia said Ou's resignation had nothing to do with his role on the campaign team of Sean Lien (連勝文), the son of Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Lien Chan.

Ou was appointed as general consultant to the campaign of Sean Lien, a Kuomintang Central Committee member who announced a bid to run for mayor for Taipei in late February. Ou earlier told local media that his work on Lien's Taipei mayoral bid would not interfere or conflict with his job.

Ou, 69, has been in his post since September 2009. He became an official of the government in the late 1980s. Ou took part in several key public projects, such as the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, the No. 2 Northern Freeway and the Taipei-Yilan Freeway.

He gained public recognition and wide popularity for his effort during the 1999 Chichi earthquake and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, and has since become the leading expert of crisis management in Taiwan.

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