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June 28, 2017

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Talk of MAC chief resigning 'ludicrous': Presidential Office

TAIPEI--Officials in the Presidential Office yesterday called predictions that Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) would step down over the removal of his deputy "ludicrous."

Several media outlets and commentators have indicated they expect Wang to resign as he is responsible for forcing out former Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) -- who was a leading negotiator with China.

Chang's firing back at the accusations against him has caused political chaos and a bevy of claims and counter claims, leading some to draw parallels to the way former Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) stepped down in the wake of last September's political clash between the president and the speaker of the Legislative Yuan.

Lo, then a senior aide to President Ma Ying-jeou, offered to step down amid the chaotic standoff between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), as Ma vowed to get to the bottom of the speaker's alleged high-profile influence peddling.

Lo, who has just returned from a brief study trip to the United States, offered a different story Wednesday regarding his resignation as a deputy secretary to the president.

"My resignation was not a direct result of the September incident," Lo said in a post on his Facebook page. "I was quitting to prepare for running for mayor of Keelung, a plan that I later canceled," Lo added.

Lo offered support to MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi, urging him to "stay put" and not be swayed by bloodthirsty pundits. "I know you are an above-board man of great integrity, which I think is the most important thing in our lives," he wrote.

As Lo called on the media not to draw comparisons between himself and the under-fire minister, the Presidential Office also asked commentators not to speculate on what might happen next but rather wait for judicial authorities to learn the facts about Chang's alleged wrongdoings.

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