Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has only been in office for four months, but criticism has mounted against him as many believe he isn’t interested in municipal government as he strives for Taiwan’s presidency.
The KMT mayor has already traveled abroad extensively during this short term in office, with trips to China, Hong Kong, and the U.S. He has also hinted at his aspiration to run for president next year against incumbent Tsai Ing-wen.
A netizen in a pro-Tsai Facebook group posted, “My classmate works in the Kaohsiung City Government. He said that the Kaohsiung City Government is currently in a mess. Many official documents that the mayor needs to confirm are backlogged. The mayor’s office, and the municipal meeting is mostly presided over by the deputy mayor Lee Shu-chuan (李四川). Many projects can only be reported to the mayor for review. In the end, there are still a bunch of bureau chiefs or agents, and they can only maintain daily operations. The project cannot be executed.”
The city government press office responded to the accusations, stating, “Please rest assured that we are all on track, there is no confusion.” The official added that Mayor Han returns often to sign official documents as needed.
The question remains whether the citizens’ accusations will hurt Mayor Han’s chances at running for president next year. He would have to compete with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou and former New Taipei mayor Eric Chu for the KMT nomination.
Han served in the Legislative Yuan from 1993 to 2002. He is the first KMT mayor of Kaohsiung since 1998, winning 53% of the vote to beat DPP candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁).