Lee Hsing-chang (李幸長), a dumpling franchise operator and the mastermind behind the Snails Without Shells Alliance, yesterday announced his entry into the Jan. 14 presidential election.
Lee said his dumpling stores nationwide would be used as locations where petitions could be signed, adding that he has prepared 1 million copies of his proposed policies for those interested.
Lee rose to national prominence with the Snails alliance, a group that protests high housing prices in Taiwan.
As regulated by Article 46 of the Constitution and Article 23 of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法), presidential and vice presidential candidates must gain — within a legally mandated time period — signatures amounting to 1.5 percent of the number of voters in the most recent elections, to demonstrate that the candidate enjoys popular support.
Asked if signing the petition would get people free dumplings, Lee said doing so would violate the act.
Lee said he would give out watermelon stickers at each of his dumpling stores, saying the green of the watermelon symbolized the environment, while the red symbolized justice.
He called on the public to put the stickers on ballots to invalidate them, saying it didn’t matter if they broke the law.
Even if he fails to reach the 260,000-signature threshold, Lee said he would still trumpet his beliefs during the election campaign, adding that he did not aim on winning the election, but rather beginning a demonstration.
If the amount of invalidated ballots exceeds 10 percent of the total number of voters, it would not only make it into the Guinness World Records, but also force the pan-green and pan-blue camps to take the nation’s housing problem seriously, Lee said.
“I am not participating in the election to talk about political ideology,” he said. “I just want to give the pan-blue, pan-green [camps] and even the communists a good kick.”
Lee called for justice, the abolition of corporate influence in politics, a nuclear-free country and the liberalization of political parties within the People’s Republic of China.