The DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming proposed that Hsinchu city and Hsinchu county be merged into the "Greater Hsinchu." However, not everyone in the party agrees with the change.
The Democratic Progressive Party is attempting to change the status of municipalities ahead of next year's municipal elections, including merging Hsinchu County and Hsinchu City. Under the Local Government Act, cities or counties must have a population of at least 1.25 million and local districts must have special economic or political needs to be upgraded to a special municipality. The two Hsinchus combined have a population of just over one million, so DPP whip Ker Chien-ming is trying to change the "and" between the two conditions to "or." The DPP also wants to merge Changhua City and County, and Yunlin with Chiayi City and Chiayi County for nine total special municipalities.
Ker Chien-ming, DPP Caucus Whip: “The referendum results make it clear the current structure is an enormous challenge to the DPP. This has nothing to do with finding a way for an individual [who has already served two terms] to run for reelection.”
Chen Ming-wen, Legislator (DPP): “The country's administrative districts should be reassessed collectively. I am advocating equal status for counties and cities and equality for all citizens.”
Wang Mei-hui, Legislator (DPP): “Chiayi City would be marginalized after a merger. I oppose a merger 100 percent.”
Although over 30 people have signed the petition, not everyone in the DPP, much fewer opposition parties, agree with the proposal.
Kao Hung-an, Legislator (TPP): “The DPP is trying to fire arrows first and set up targets later by merging Hsinchu County and Hsinchu City.”
Lai Shyh-bao, Legislator (KMT): “Taiwan is so small. Why does it need nine special municipalities? China only has four.”
The DPP will submit the draft to the Legislative Yuan on the 21st at the earliest in the hopes of promulgating the changes by mid-next year.
Chen Tsung-yen, Deputy Interior Minister: “If we want to get the amendments passed before next year's (elections), we have to accelerate the amendment process. The new electoral districts would have to be announced by June 25 next year to apply to the mayor/magistrate and city/county council elections.”
The draft revisions haven't even been submitted yet, but the Ministry of the Interior is already consulting with various groups to accelerate the process.