Attempts to hide disgrace only backfire
Updated: 2015-04-23 08:32
GONG WEIGUO, MAYOR of Linxiang, a city under Yueyang, Hunan province in Central China, was suspended on suspicion of drug use and under formal investigation, according to the Yueyang government on Tuesday. However, previous speculations about Gong's drug use were denied by the local publicity department which refused to give further information. Instead it only vaguely implied that his two-week-long absence was due to him being unwell. Comments:
The governments at both levels have failed to disclose information about Gong in a timely manner. They still wanted to try and muddle through, even when the truth came out. Indeed, Gong's suspension shows that although "all people are equal before the law", an efficient information disclosure system, as well as an accountability mechanism for supervising local publicity officials, is still needed.
Wang Gangqiao, a guest commentator with Beijing News, April 22
For the drug-taking mayor, potential promotion could have been within easy reach had he refused to use illegal drugs. Instead, he serves as a bad example for officials in the country. For the local governments involved, their poor attempt to protect a high-ranking official's image has eventually cost them the public's trust.
Zhang Li, a guest commentator with scol.com.cn, April 22
The key to putting an end to public servants' drug addiction lies in not only local official announcements and investigations led by the superior supervision watchdog, but also in the protection of the public's right to know and supervise.
Dai Xianren, a guest commentator with eastday.com, April 22
(China Daily USA 04/23/2015 page11)