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Commerce Chamber chair seeks to resolve board election issue

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Lai Chang-yi, (賴正鎰), the newly elected chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce for the Republic of China (ROCCOC, 全國商業總會), yesterday attempted to resolve a dispute over the organization's recent board elections by issuing a press statement announcing that his rivals will be appointed to vice chairman posts.

On Dec. 17, the ROCCOC had its first members' meeting of its ninth assembly. On the same day the organization also held a routine election for its board of directors and board of supervisors, which concluded amid disagreements.

Lai's statement also includes three other candidates who may be appointed vice chairmen, a move that was approved during an extraordinary board meeting that took place on Dec. 23.

The election process was compromised, said Wang Ying-jieh (王應傑), the former convener of the ROCCOC Board of Directors, who did not receive enough votes to retain his post. According to Wang, the board's election procedures called for 45 seats on the Board of Directors and 17 seats on the Board of Supervisors; however, the procedures were changed on short notice, with members voting for 51 seats on the Board of Directors and 17 seats on the Board of Supervisors.

Following the election, Wang vowed to seek legal recourse and file a complaint to the Ministry of the Interior within two weeks.

In response to Lai's announcement, Wang yesterday stated that he has yet to be informed of the situation, and declined to comment further. Wang however did not rule out accepting the offer of vice chairmanship, adding that Lai's chairmanship still needs to be confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior. According to Wang, it would have been more appropriate for Lai to offer the appointment after receiving confirmation of his own chairmanship from the Ministry of the Interior as well as the approval of the ROCCOC board.

Wang also emphasized that Lai's goodwill gesture at this early juncture may only be a ruse, merely appearing to resolve the dispute on amicable terms.

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