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July 24, 2017

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KMT councilor resigns and blasts DPP mayor for not following suit

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kuomintang Tainan Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) yesterday announced his resignation, criticizing Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) for not following suit in the wake of former Taiwan Sugar Corporation (台糖) Chairman Wu Nai-ren's (吳乃仁) sentencing.

 During an interpellation session at the Tainan City Council, Hsieh said that Lai had vouched for Wu and former Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Hung Chi-chang's (洪奇昌) innocence by betting on his political career.

 Both Wu and Hung were indicted on graft and breach of trust charges over a Taiwan Sugar Corporation realty deal. The court of first instance found the two guilty, sentencing Wu to three years and 10 months in prison, while sentencing Hung to two years and four months in prison. Following an appeal, Hung was acquitted of the charges, while Wu was given a nine-month prison sentence.

 Hsieh previously said that he would resign if Wu and Hung, both leaders of the DPP's now defunct New Tide faction (新潮流), were found not guilty.

 Although Hung was ultimately found not guilty, Wu will begin serving his sentence on May 26, Hsieh pointed out, urging the mayor to step down.

 In response, Lai said, "Councilor Hsieh, you should resign first. If you want to resign, then resign by yourself."

 The councilor said that although only one of the two was given a guilty verdict, he would resign nonetheless.

 Hsieh promptly produced a letter of resignation and signed it, handing the document over to Tainan City Council Speaker Lai Mei-hui (賴美惠).

 "Wu Nai-ren will be sent to prison on the 26th. Lai Ching-te (the mayor), you should resign too. I have resigned in response to the mayor's request. I hereby renounce my duties as councilor," Hsieh said.

 After he submitted the letter of resignation again to the council's administrative staff, Hsieh headed over to the Tainan District Prosecutors Office, reporting Lai on suspicion of graft over his involvement in a local BOT project.

 Tainan City Council Secretary-General Huang Kung-hsi (黃恭喜) confirmed that the council had received Hsieh's letter of resignation to be implemented with immediate effect.

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