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May 27, 2017

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NCC commissioner quits after three months

The China Post--The National Communications Commission (NCC, 國家通訊傳播委員會) said yesterday that Chen Yuan-ling (陳元玲) has resigned, after completing just three months of her four-year term as NCC commissioner.

Chen, a controversial pick who passed the confirmation vote narrowly this July, assumed the post of NCC commissioner on Aug. 1 and resigned Oct. 31.

The NCC released a brief statement yesterday morning:

"NCC Commissioner Chen Yuan-ling resigned her position on Oct. 31 due to personal reasons. The NCC chairman requested that she stay, but Chen remained adamant over her resignation."

NCC spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) told local reporters that Chen resigned on account of her family. Chen is stepping down to provide care for her mother, who has recently been in a car accident and is scheduled to undergo surgery, according to Yu.

New Cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said that Premier Sean Chen respects the decision to resign.

Rocky Start

Meanwhile at the Legislative Yuan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) probed for hidden reasons behind the NCC press release.

Earlier this year, Chen Yuan-ling's nomination as NCC commissioner stirred up opposition from DPP lawmakers who alleged that she fabricated portions of her resume and had links to mainland Chinese business interests. Chen refuted all charges.

On July 26, her confirmation vote was 58 for and 50 against, with four abstentions.

When questioning the premier in the Legislature, Wei renewed criticism over Chen Yuan-ling's qualifications, saying they were questionable from the start.

Wei added that after taking the post, Chen announced that she intends to contribute to the NCC for a long time, a statement that renders her sudden departure suspect.

Premier Regretful

"Don't let your imagination get away from you," the premier responded to speculation about the resignation. "It is difficult to quantify how a person feels toward her family."

Sean Chen said that NCC Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) values Chen's acumen and international experience, and had made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to dissuade her against resigning.

Sean Chen said her resignation is "regrettable," and that he himself made efforts to convince her to stay.

The commissioner's exit leaves the NCC with five of its seven seats filled.

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