Taipei, December 27 (CNA) The mayor of Hsinchu, Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) of the ruling Progressive Democratic Party (DPP), announced on Monday that he would not run for mayor of Greater Hsinchu in 2022, following the probable re-designation of the region as a special municipality.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Lin said after days of careful consideration that he has decided not to run for mayor of the amalgamated city of Hsinchu and Hsinchu County next year, to arrest. political maneuvers by opposition parties and help speed up the adoption of an amendment. to allow the establishment of the new special municipality.
Lin expressed concern that the likelihood of him running for mayor of the new administrative area could delay the re-designation process.
Lin also said he hoped his decision not to run, which was approved by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), would force the parties to opposition to focusing on the merger and supporting the local population. desire to see a merged area of Hsinchu become a special municipality.
“Although I am not running for mayor in 2022 of a large area of Hsichu, I am still determined to push for the amalgamation of Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County,” he said.
Lin has been mayor of Hsinchu since 2014, and his second term ends in December 2022.
Discussions about the merger first surfaced in September, when Lin said it was important for the greater Hsinchu area to become a special municipality in order to accelerate its development.
Opposition parties sharply criticized that the merger would allow Lin to run for mayor of the planned new special municipality, thus promoting the political interests of the DPP.
Lin’s announcement came days after a draft bill to amend the Local Government Act sponsored by DPP Legislative Caucus Whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) was sent to committee after to have passed its first legislative hurdle last Friday.
The amendment bill seeks to lower the bar on establishing special municipalities in Taiwan by removing the minimum population requirement.
Currently, only a region with a population of 1.25 million and more which has “particular needs in terms of political, economic, cultural and metropolitan development” can be redesignated as a special municipality, in accordance with Article 4 of the law on local authorities.
The bill is part of the DPP’s efforts to merge Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County, an area that is home to the Hsinchu Science Park, where contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and many other companies from high technology have their headquarters.
As of November 2021, around 1.02 million people resided in the area, 452,665 in Hsinchu City and 575,131 in Hsinchu County, according to local government figures.
Ker argued that the establishment of special municipalities will help bridge the gap between urban and rural areas while enhancing the competitiveness of the country.